Rev. Dr. Brent Hawkes, C.M. has been accused of sexual assault in a case that allegedly occurred 40 years ago.
We are limited in our ability to comment on a matter that is before the courts but it is important to specifically address two questions you may have:
- The alleged incident purportedly occurred prior to Brent becoming our pastor and the charge is not made against MCC Toronto;
- Related to this, our church is not funding Brent’s legal defence.
Statement from Rev. Dr. Brent Hawkes:
“I want to be crystal clear: I am innocent of these allegations. The purported events simply did not take place. While it is impossible for me to understand where these almost 40 year old accusations come from, I have a faith that will sustain me as well as faith in Canada’s justice system. For 38 years, I have fought, with all that I have, for equality for my community. I have fought to give voice to those without voice. Now I will fight, with all that I have, these accusations. This time, however, my fight will be different; this time I will allow others to give voice for me. I wish I could say more. Suffice it to say, I have lots to say. But everything I have to say will be said in court. So I know you will understand, that for now, we will have to leave things there.”
Statement from the MCC Toronto Board of Directors:
“Reverend Dr. Brent Hawkes, the Senior Pastor of Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto, is a cherished and respected leader. He has been repeatedly recognized in Canada and the United States as an advocate of human rights and is the recipient of the Order of Canada and numerous awards and honourary degrees. The Board of MCC Toronto knows Rev. Hawkes as a man of high integrity and an inspirational community leader who has led MCC Toronto for 38 years in its quest for tolerance and inclusiveness. Brent has our steadfast support.”
Statement from Mr. Clayton Ruby:
“I have known Brent for more than a quarter century. I believe him, completely, when he tells me these accusations are false and that these events did not happen. We will now show, in court, that Brent is innocent of these 40 year old allegations. Like Brent, I have confidence, not only in our justice system but, in the outcome of this matter. I am confident that Brent will be vindicated, found innocent and that his 38 years of commitment to human rights and progressive Christianity will remain unblemished.”