Former prison guard elects judge and jury trial on sex assault charges

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Brian Lee Wilson remains free on conditions. (CBC - image credit)
Brian Lee Wilson remains free on conditions. (CBC - image credit)

A former prison guard at the Nova Institute for Women in Truro, N.S., has elected trial by Nova Scotia Supreme Court judge and jury on charges of sexual assault and breach of trust involving five inmates at the prison.

A lawyer for Brian Lee Wilson appeared by telephone Wednesday in provincial court in Truro to begin the process of scheduling a trial.

Wilson, 54, faces 13 charges including sexual assault, communicating for the purposes of obtaining sexual services, and breach of trust of a public official.

The Crown alleges Wilson assaulted five women during the summer of 2018 when he was a guard and they were all inmates. He no longer works at the prison and some of the women have since been released.

Case returns to court in May

Wilson was originally scheduled to undergo a preliminary inquiry. However, recent changes to the Criminal Code mean the charges are not covered by a preliminary inquiry, so the matter is going straight to trial.

Lawyers are scheduled to appear before a Nova Scotia Supreme Court justice in May to find trial dates.

Wilson remains free on conditions in the meantime. Those conditions include that he stay away from a long list of people, including Sen. Kim Pate, who has been a leading advocate for prison reform in Canada in her former role as executive director of the Elizabeth Fry societies.

Earlier this month, a Halifax law firm launched a suit against the federal Attorney General, alleging the office has failed to do enough to protect women in custody from assaults by prison staff.

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