Day-home sex assaults 'never happened,' Calgary grandfather says in testimony

A Calgary grandfather accused of molesting three children at his wife's day home said the alleged assaults "never happened." Kenneth Jenkinson testified in his own defence on Day 4 of his trial.

Kenneth Alfred Jenkinson, 71, faces 3 counts of sexual assault and 3 counts of sexual interference

The husband of a Calgary day-home operator has been found guilty of one count of sexual touching and acquitted of two other counts. (Meghan Grant/CBC)

A Calgary grandfather accused of molesting three children at his wife's day home says the alleged assaults "never happened."

Kenneth Jenkinson testified Thursday in his own defence on Day 4 of his trial before Justice Michele Hollins.

Jenkinson, 71, faces sexual assault and sexual interference charges relating to three alleged victims, girls who were around the ages of six or seven while attending his wife's day home.

The mothers of all three alleged victims work together.

During his testimony, Jenkinson told his lawyer James Wyman that he had very little interaction with the children who were under his wife's care.

He said occasionally, he would watch them for a few minutes if his wife ran out to do an errand.

When the parents of the first complainant confronted him, Jenkinson says he was "devastated."

"I've never been accused of anything like that in my life," said Jenkinson. "It made me feel physically ill."

A publication ban is in place to protect the identity of the three girls.

Girls' parents go to police

The first complainant, who was eight years old at the time of the alleged assault, testified Monday. She told police that "Papa Ken" put his hand down her shirt and rubbed her chest in November 2015 while the two were in the basement of the Jenkinsons' house.

The girl was pulled out of the day home. 

Jenkinson said life became "extremely difficult" after the allegations surfaced. 

He said after he was confronted by the first family in November 2015, he and his wife agreed he would never be left alone with any of the children. 

Six months later the second girl told her parents that she had also been touched by Jenkinson. 

Wife taken from court on stretcher

Finally the third complainant disclosed a similar experience when questioned by her parents.

The three families then went to police in May 2016.

Jenkinson told his lawyer all of the allegations were "absolutely untrue."

Under cross-examination by prosecutor Shane Parker, Jenkinson continued to deny all of the allegations.

One by one, Parker suggested Jenkinson had committed each act of sexual touching as described by the children, which the accused denied.

"Mr. Jenkinson, I have one final question for you: Why would Papa Ken do that? How do you respond?" asked Parker.

"I didn't do that," said Jenkinson.

Patricia Jenkinson began testifying in her husband's defence after he was done being questioned. But the 70-year-old woman suffers from seizures that can be triggered by stress.

She appeared to suffer some kind of medical incident and was brought out of the courthouse on a stretcher. 

The trial will wrap up next week.

About the Author

Meghan Grant

CBC Calgary reporter

Meghan Grant is the courts and crime reporter for CBC Calgary.