Convicted sex offender pleads not guilty in case dating to 1982
Michael Lynn Wentzell's home in Voglers Cove, N.S., shot with pellet gun earlier this month
A convicted sex offender from Voglers Cove, N.S., whose home was recently shot at with a pellet gun and tagged with graffiti calling him a "child molester" has pleaded not guilty to two historical sex offences against a young girl.
The lawyer for Michael Lynn Wentzell, 69, appeared in Nova Scotia provincial court in Bridgewater Wednesday morning to enter the not guilty pleas.
Wentzell has opted to be tried by a justice of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court, sitting without a jury. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for April. Wentzell remains free on conditions in the meantime.
According to court documents, the alleged offences occurred between March and May 1982 when the girl was under 14 years of age. The charges were laid in June of this year.
This is the second time Wentzell has been accused of sexually abusing a young girl. In the previous case, Wentzell was convicted of sexual assault and sexual exploitation after a girl went to police in 2016.
Too afraid to tell
She was abused by Wentzell over a five-year period, beginning in 2002. The girl said she was raped hundreds of times during this period and was too afraid to tell anyone about the abuse.
Wentzell was sentenced to four years in prison, but released on parole after serving only one year. At his sentencing, his name was placed on the national sex offender registry and he was ordered to stay away from places frequented by children.
The Parole Board of Canada relied on a psychological assessment from 2020 in its decision to grant Wentzell parole. The assessment said he was a low risk to reoffend. However, the board did have some reservations.
"You have demonstrated cognitive distortions in regards to your offences, claiming to be involved in a consensual relationship with the victim, and disputing the length of the sexual abuse and the victim's age at the time it began," the board wrote in its decision.
Home shot with pellet gun
The board said Wentzell's attitude did improve. It was reported "you made some progress and you are now able to identify the controlling and abusive behaviour you demonstrated with the victim, as well as the grooming tactics and intimidation you used to control the victim's behaviour."
Not everyone is happy that Wentzell remains free while the latest allegations make their way through the courts. A small crowd of protesters showed up at the Bridgewater Justice Centre Wednesday morning. The garage of Wentzell's home was also tagged by graffiti following his release. The graffiti has since been covered.
A neighbour was also accused of shooting at Wentzell's home on Sept. 3 with a pellet rifle. RCMP have charged Terry Colp with dangerous use of a firearm, using an imitation firearm in the commission of an offence and damage to property.