Nova Scotia

High school principal defends against sex charges

A high school principal from the Annapolis Valley took the stand in his own defence on Friday, the final day of his sexual assault trial before a Windsor provincial court judge.

Doug Keyes says allegations 'absolutely not true'

A high school principal from the Annapolis Valley took the stand in his own defence on Friday, the final day of his sexual assault trial before a Windsor provincial court judge.

Doug Keyes flatly denied the allegations made against him by a 27-year-old man, who says Keyes started abusing him when he was 14 years old.

"That's absolutely not true," Keyes said, under direct examination from his lawyer, Joel Pink.

Keyes is charged with sexual assault, sexual exploitation, sexual interference and invitation to sexual touching for offences alleged to have occurred in Hants, Lunenburg and Halifax counties between 1998 and 2002.

He has been on paid administrative leave from his job as principal of Avon View High School since he was charged in December 2011. Keyes, of Gypsum Mines, became principal at the school in August 2009.

Keyes was also originally charged with breach of trust, using a computer with intent to commit a criminal offence and producing a false document, but those charges were withdrawn by the Crown in October after he pleaded guilty to a single breach of trust charge.

'It's completely untrue'

The complainant at the centre of the case alleges Keyes first abused him during a trip to his cottage near Chester after the pair wrestled. He alleges the abuse continued at Keyes' home in Gypsum Mines.

On Friday, Keyes and his lawyer produced a timeline claiming he didn't even own the house in Gypsum Mines during the dates of the earliest charges.

During his testimony in October, the accuser said Keyes served him alcohol when he was young, that they smoked marijuana together and they also watched internet pornography together.

Keyes testified when he first bought his Gypsum Mines house, he didn't have an internet connection. He later got dial-up, he said.

"There was never drinking, there was never wrestling, there was never porn. It's completely untrue," Keyes testified.

"I'm getting frustrated because I don't know how to say, 'No' in a different way, but it's not true."

In pleading guilty to a single breach of trust charge, Keyes admitted he failed to do anything about a student he knew was using a false school transcript to apply for jobs and further his education. Under cross-examination, Keyes admitted his failure to act meant he'd failed the standard expected of a teacher.

Pink and Crown Prosecutor Bill Fergusson will file their final arguments in writing. Judge Alan Tufts will hand down his decision on April 8.