Winnipeg Coun. Russ Wyatt, charged with sexual assault, to appear in court in August

Winnipeg Coun. Russ Wyatt, charged with sexual assault, to appear in court in August

Winnipeg city Coun. Russ Wyatt will have his first court appearance on Aug. 28 to address a charge of sexual assault.

The Transcona councillor was charged earlier this month with the offence, which allegedly occurred on Jan. 13. He has since denied the charge.

Newly released court documents order Wyatt not to communicate with his accuser, directly or indirectly, nor be within 200 metres of her home, workplace “or any place [she] may be.”

Wyatt, a longtime councillor, also must abstain from consuming alcohol or other intoxicating substances, as well as drugs, except as per medical prescriptions.

The charge has not been proven in court.

Motion to force leave of absence

Police arrested Wyatt on July 10, close to six months after the assault was reported on Jan. 14.

At the time, Const. Rob Carver said the “serious sexual assault” took place at a home in the city, but not Wyatt’s home.

The accuser is an adult woman who was known to Wyatt, but the alleged assault isn’t considered domestic in nature.

The 48-year-old councillor was absent from the city council meeting following his arrest, having been granted a leave of absence from the July 19 meeting, citing a doctor’s appointment.

The city charter has nothing in it to preclude a councillor from fulfilling the duties of an elected official while he or she faces a criminal charge.

Coun. Cindy Gilroy (Daniel McIntyre) introduced a motion last week that would have the City of Winnipeg ask the province for an amendment to the city’s charter to make it mandatory for elected members of council to take paid leaves of absence if they face criminal charges, “including, but not limited to, assault and sexual assault.”

The motion has been placed on the agenda for the next council meeting on Sept. 20.

Published at Wed, 25 Jul 2018 12:34:27 -0400