Husband of Calgary day-home operator guilty of sexual touching

The husband of a Calgary day-home operator has been found guilty of sexually touching an eight-year-old girl and not guilty of the same offence involving two other children.

Kenneth Jenkinson faced 3 counts of sexual assault and 3 counts of sexual touching

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)

The husband of a Calgary day-home operator has been found guilty of sexually touching an eight-year-old girl but not guilty of the same offence involving two other children. 

Kenneth Jenkinson, 71, was found to have put his hand down the shirt of a child who attended his wife's day home in 2015.

Court of Queen's Bench Justice Michele Hollins said she believed the allegations made by the first child in respect to one incident, finding the girl's testimony "consistent, compelling and corroborated."

But Hollins said she was left with reasonable doubt on evidence of the other two girls. The judge said both children had previously denied ever being touched by Jenkinson, their versions of events changed over time and in one case the child had been asked leading questions by an investigator 

Hollins also said there was a possibility the children's evidence had become tainted after they spoke with each other. 

The mothers of all three children, whose identities are protected by a publication ban, work together.

When he testified in his own defence, Jenkinson denied all inappropriate touching.

The first allegations came to light in November 2015 when one girl told her mother that "Papa Ken" had called her to the basement, had her sit on his lap and put his hand down her shirt.

Prosecutor Shane Parker played the victim's videotaped statement to police in court. It was during that statement that the child explained what happened in the basement of the day home. 

She told a police detective Jenkinson said "does it feel good" and then said she was "too scared to say stop."

Hollins said she found the child's evidence "extremely clear and consistent."

'Evidence may be tainted'

The girl's mother and father met with the parents of the other two children who would eventually make similar allegations. Initially, both girls denied having been touched. 

Months later, two of the girls — including the first complainant — attended a workshop together. After that, the second child began telling her parents and police that Jenkinson had also touched her. 

The parents of the third child were alerted again, and after questioning, their daughter also began claiming to have been sexually assaulted by Jenkinson.

But the stories of the two girls changed throughout their statements to police and in their testimony. 

One child said the touching had happened "way more than 50 times," then said it was three times. She also said she was sure one of the incidents happened after she was no longer attending the day home.

"[Her] evidence may be tainted," Hollins found.

The evidence of the third child included incidents she said happened in front of her sister, with Pat Jenkinson, the day-home operator nearby, which the judge described as "implausible."

Although Hollins had to acquit because she was left in reasonable doubt, she did tell the two girls and their parents she was not accusing the children of fabricating their stories. 

Defence lawyer James Wyman asked the court to order pre-sentence reports for his client which will take into account Jenkinson's risk to reoffend, among other things.

A sentencing date will take place in May. 

About the Author

Meghan Grant

CBC Calgary reporter

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