James Wilks, ex-navy medic, free while he appeals 30-month jail verdict

James Wilks, an ex-navy medic, will remain free while he appeals a 30-month prison sentence. Wilks was found guilty in November of 10 counts of sexual assault and 15 counts of breach of trust.
Former military medical technician James Wilks, a petty officer second class who is now retired, was found guilty on 25 sexual assault and breach of trust charges involving 16 women over six years. (Fred Chartrand/Canadian Press)

A former Canadian Forces medical technician who was sentenced to 30 months in jail after being convicted of sexual assault and breach of trust will remain free while he appeals the verdict in his case.

Retired petty officer second class James Wilks was found guilty of 10 counts of sexual assault and 15 counts of breach of trust.

Wilks, 54, conducted unnecessary and unauthorized breast exams on female military personnel during routine medical checkups while he was stationed in Thunder Bay and London, Ont., between 2003 and 2009.

Wilks used the medical exams to see and touch the women's breasts, and let them think it was part of the examination, which was "totally dishonest," the military judge said when delivering his verdict in November.

"The court found no reason to disbelieve any of these women."

There is a publication ban on the identities of the women.

A military judge today sentenced Wilks to 30 months in jail.

Wilks immediately appealed the verdict.

The judge this afternoon ruled Wilks could be released until his appeal is heard — a process that could take months.

The judge imposed a set of conditions, including that Wilks must keep the peace and surrender his passport.