Paramedic charged with sex assault case delayed

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James Duncan Keats, pictured here making his way into Halifax provincial court June 13, is facing three counts of sexual assault and breach of trust in relation to complaints lodged by a 71-year-old woman from Rawdon, and a 32-year-old woman from Halifax.

Lawyers are waiting for a DNA analysis before pushing the case of a suspended paramedic accused of assaulting multiple female patients while on the job.

James Duncan Keats, of Kentville,was not present in Windsor provincial court Nov. 26 when Nova Scotia Legal Aid lawyer Karen Armour asked that the case be adjourned until January.

Armour said the Crown has received new information regarding the Hants County-based charges, and further DNA analysis will be required.

Judge Claudine MacDonald agreed to set a new election date of Jan. 28. 

Keats, 48, is facing 14 charges; equal counts of sexual assault and breach of trust, after six women ranging in age from 24 to 71 years told police the paramedic sexually assaulted them.

Keats was initially up on two charges of sexual assault and two charges of breach of trust in relation to complaints a 71-year-old East Hants woman filed with the Rawdon RCMP.

The local woman is alleging Keats first assaulted her while she was being taken to hospital in an ambulance on Sept. 1, 2012.

Keats is accused of assaulting the same woman a second time, on May 26, 2013, when two paramedics were in her home responding to a call for assistance for a male resident. It is alleged the incident occurred soon after Keats asked the woman to step into another room so he could check her vital signs while his colleague tended to the other patient.

In June, Keats was charged with additional counts of sexual assault and breach of trust based on information a 32-year-old Halifax woman shared with the Halifax Regional Police Feb. 7. Police say the woman is alleging Keats violated her in the back of an ambulance Jan. 31, 2013.

Keats was arrested again on Oct. 17, and charged with four more counts of sexual assault and breach of trust based on allegations put forth by four women between the ages of 24 and 64. Police are alleging the incidents took place between Dec. 20, 2010 and April 21, 2013, with patients travelling in an EHS ambulance from Windsor, Fall River and Lower Sackville.

Keats, who is banned from practicing as a paramedic while the court proceedings are underway, was placed on house arrest upon being released from custody on a $20,000 surety following an appearance in Nova Scotia Provincial Court in Halifax Oct. 21.


Organizations: Halifax Regional Police

Geographic location: Windsor, Kentville, Hants County Halifax Fall River

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