Ex-paddling coach ends sex assault case with peace bond

·1 min read
Donald Paul Henderson is shown during an appearance at Dartmouth provincial court last year. (Emma Davie/CBC - image credit)
Donald Paul Henderson is shown during an appearance at Dartmouth provincial court last year. (Emma Davie/CBC - image credit)

A former Halifax-area paddling coach has signed a peace bond, agreeing to stay away from a woman who accused him of sexually assaulting her when she was a teenager.

The decision this week by Donald Paul Henderson, 55, pre-empts a trial that was scheduled to go ahead in Nova Scotia provincial court.

On Jan. 8, 2020, Henderson was sentenced to 90 days in jail, to be served intermittently, after pleading guilty to one charge of sexual touching involving another woman.

That charge stemmed from the period between 1988 and 1990 when she was a 14-year-old girl and Henderson was her coach at Maskwa, a canoe and kayak club on Kearney Lake in suburban Halifax.

Henderson is now married and has teenage daughters. At his sentencing hearing last year, a psychologist's report stated he had told the psychologist he would not allow someone in their 20s to date his children.

The report also said that while Henderson now understands what he did was illegal, he struggles with the extent to which he did something wrong.

The peace bond that Henderson signed requires him to stay 250 metres away from the woman who accused him. He's also to stay away from Lake Banook in Dartmouth, the scene of most canoe and kayak competitions and training sessions in the Halifax area. He faces a $1,000 penalty if he breaks the bond.

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