The head of the John Howard Society of Manitoba (JHS) pleaded not guilty Thursday to allegations he sexually assaulted an underage girl.

Police charged William John Hutton, the 55-year-old executive director of JHS, with sexual assault, sexual exploitation and sexual interference in connection with incidents that allegedly happened between December 2009 and January 2013 in the Rural Municipality of St. François Xavier.

The victim, who is currently 12-years-old, was present for the trial Thursday.

A video of the victim's initial testimony to police was revealed in court, in which she describes Hutton touching her inappropriately.


John Hutton, executive director of the John Howard Society in Manitoba, pleaded not guilty in court Thursday in connection with allegations he sexually assaulted a young girl. ((CBC))

The Crown asked the young girl in court Thursday whether the recorded statements she made to police were true, and she responded with "yes."

An RCMP officer testified that she investigated a complaint from the female victim in 2013.

The officer said she asked the young girl to show police what happened to her using a diagram of a woman's body.

Hutton's defence lawyer cross-examined the RCMP officer, asking why she hadn't taken detailed notes of the victim's statement and questioned whether police pressured the girl to give them information.

Kate Kehler, acting director of JHS, told CBC News earlier this month Hutton has been on a paid leave of absence since March.

In 2008, Hutton was appointed executive director of the John Howard Society of Manitoba, which helps reintegrate male offenders into society after they are released from custody.