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Kings County photographer acquitted of historic sexual assault charges following trial

The Kentville law courts - File photo
The Kentville law courts - File photo

A Kings County photographer known for his fire scene and landscape images has had his name cleared in court on historic sexual assault allegations.

Brian Gary Taylor, 57, of Kentville, was charged with three counts of sexual assault alleged to have occurred in Kings County between Aug. 31, 2002, and Dec. 31, 2004. Taylor pleaded not guilty to the charges and was on trial in Kentville provincial court on May 16.

In giving her decision, Judge Catherine Benton said the male complainant, whose identity is protected by a publication ban, had described three alleged sexual assaults, the first being by a waterfall on Russia Road. The complainant said he was holding Taylor’s camera when he tripped and fell on his back and that Taylor had grabbed his penis through his pants.

The man testified that he told Taylor to let go or he would smash Taylor’s camera. However, as earlier pointed out by defence lawyer Chris Manning, the complainant had told police in an earlier statement that he had been tripped by Taylor and pinned to the ground. Taylor testified that he doesn’t recall being there and denied the allegation.

“He also advises that, given his passion for photography, he would never have lent his camera to (the complainant),” Benton said.

The second incident was alleged to have occurred in the winter months when the complainant was at Taylor’s home. He said they were having a beer and “I think he (Taylor) ran his hand up my leg.” He said he told Taylor that this wasn’t alright and that he didn’t like it.

However, in his statement to police, the complainant had said this incident had also happened at the waterfall, not at Taylor’s residence. Taylor said he recalls the complainant being at his residence because of an accident that had happened nearby that evening but denied touching his leg.

The complainant testified that the third incident happened outside of a church in Black Rock. He said he was having a cigarette and Taylor came up behind him and touched his penis through his clothing. The complainant testified that he moved Taylor’s hand away.

However, as pointed out during cross-examination, the complainant had earlier told police that he didn’t recall where the incident occurred. The man testified that it happened in the spring time. Taylor said he recalled them being at the church taking photos once in the fall but he denied the allegation.

“In my review and consideration of the evidence before the court today, I must say there’s too many discrepancies for me to accept the evidence that (the complainant) provided,” Benton said.

She said that she accepted Taylor’s evidence and said that the Crown hasn’t proven the charges beyond a reasonable doubt. She found Taylor not guilty on all three counts and told him he was free to go.

The complainant had told the court that some of these memories had been suppressed. He said the reason why he didn’t say anything about the incidents earlier was that “no young man wants to say that he was touched by another guy.”

On cross examination, the complainant said that “a lot of this happened very quickly.” Manning said, “it didn’t happen quickly when you gave your statement to police.”

“I would suggest that every time you talk about it, it’s different,” Manning said. “I would say it’s different every time because it simply didn’t happen.”

Manning told the complainant, “It’s a fallacy, you’re making it up as you’re going along”, which the complainant denied.

Kirk.starratt@kingscountynews.ca

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