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The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Head of John Howard Society in Manitoba pleads not guilty to sex assault

WINNIPEG - A 12-year-old girl says the head of the John Howard Society in Manitoba sexually assaulted her.

The girl testified in a Winnipeg court that John Hutton touched her inappropriately starting in 2009 until late 2012.

She came forward in January 2013.

The girl testified with a barrier shielding her from the courtroom gallery to protect her identity.

Hutton, who has pleaded not guilty, is charged with sexual assault, sexual interference and sexual exploitation.

He has been placed on administrative leave from the John Howard Society, an organization that offers programs and resources for male criminal offenders.

Hutton has been the executive director for at least five years, the society has confirmed.

A video played in court showed a statement the girl gave to an RCMP officer. She pointed to pictures of male and female anatomy to explain the alleged abuse.

The allegations stem from encounters alleged to have occurred in the Rural Municipality of St. Francois Xavier.

(CJOB, The Canadian Press)

Comments are not accepted on this story because they might prejudice a case before the courts.

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