Top court orders new trial for Salmon Arm optician accused of sexual assault

A former Salmon Arm optician who was found guilty two years ago of sexually assaulting a teenaged boy in the 1980s has had his conviction overturned by B.C.’s highest court, but he will have to stand trial again.

Kenneth Pilkington was convicted in 2017 of a historic sexual assault involving a 14-year-old boy. Court heard Pilkington, now 75, was in his 40s when he met the teen.

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Pilkington had been accused of inviting the boy into the back of his optical shop on a number of occasions and molesting him, then paying him small sums of money.

Pilkington was ordered to spend two years on probation and to register as a sex offender for 20 years. Pilkington was also barred from having authority over children or visiting parks or pools, and he had to submit a sample of his DNA to a national criminal database.

Pilkington appealed successfully that the B.C. Supreme Court judge who heard his trial erred in assessing his credibility. Pilkington’s lawyers had asked the B.C. Court of Appeal to enter an acquittal due to his advanced age, but the three-judge panel instead ordered a new trial, noting “a cogent body of evidence that would support conviction.” A date for Pilkington’s new trial has not been set.

© Kamloops This Week


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