Sex assault trial for former guard at women's prison set for next year

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Brian Wilson, shown in 2019, worked at the Nova Institute for Women in Truro, N.S., for 10 years. (CBC - image credit)
Brian Wilson, shown in 2019, worked at the Nova Institute for Women in Truro, N.S., for 10 years. (CBC - image credit)

A former prison guard at the Nova Institute for Women in Truro, N.S., is going to trial next March on charges of sexual assault and breach of trust involving five inmates at the prison.

A lawyer for Brian Lee Wilson, 54, appeared before Justice Timothy Gabriel of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court Tuesday morning to discuss logistics for the jury trial, which is expected to take two weeks.

Wilson 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 the 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.

During Tuesday's conference call, Wilson's lawyer indicated the criminal histories of the five complainants will be a factor in the trial.

The Crown said a sitting senator is among the witnesses he expects to call, and that may require special security for the trial.

While the Crown didn't name the senator, Kim Pate's name is on a long list of people Wilson must stay away from. Pate has been a leading advocate for prison reform in Canada and is the former executive director of the Elizabeth Fry societies.

Wilson remains free on conditions.

Earlier this year, a Halifax law firm launched a lawsuit 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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