PEI

Retired sheriff and former TV host faces new sex charges

Four new charges, including sexual assault, were laid November 20 by Charlottetown police.

Bill Acorn is now charged with 17 offences

Bill Acorn was deputy sheriff in the provincial courts for many years. (Shane Hennessey/CBC)

Latest

  • On Monday, March 29 2021, the Crown stayed 11 charges against Bill Acorn.
  • This included 10 sex-related charges and one charge of making a threat.
  • All charges were related to the same complainant. Other charges were stayed earlier.
  • Acorn pleaded guilty to one charge: unsafe storage of a gun. He was fined $300.

A former cable TV host and retired court house sheriff now faces 17 criminal charges —  most involving alleged sexual offences against a child under 16.

William Acorn, 83, of Charlottetown was originally charged last fall, as a result of an investigation by the major crime unit of Charlottetown police into a historical sexual assault complaint. Those charges included sexual assault, sexual touching and invitation to sexual touching.

Four new charges, including sexual assault, were laid Nov. 20 by Charlottetown police. They involve the same alleged victim as the previous charges. All of the alleged incidents involving that victim took place between 2009 and 2014.

At a brief court hearing Wednesday in Charlottetown provincial court, defence lawyer Brendan Hubley appeared on Acorn's behalf. It was the first court date for the case, since police filed the additional charges. 

Hubley told Judge John Douglas that electronic equipment had been seized and is currently being analyzed by police.  Crown prosecutor Nathan Beck told the judge the prosecutor's office does not know when the analysis will be complete.

Acorn is also charged with secretly making a video recording for a sexual purpose. That incident, alleged to have taken place in 2017 according to court documents, involved three victims.

In addition, he is charged with making a death threat against the child victim, and with improper storage of a firearm. That firearm was a Smith and Wesson revolver, according to court documents.

Acorn was known for hosting Bill's Country Jamboree, a P.E.I. cable television show that ran for 25 years. He worked as a deputy sheriff in the provincial courts until his retirement.

Acorn has not entered pleas on any of the charges, and the charges have not been proven in court. He did not attend court Wednesday. The case was adjourned to Jan. 30.

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