Retired judge insists wrongfully convicted Nova Scotia man pleaded guilty

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HALIFAX - A former Crown attorney who led the case against a Nova Scotia man wrongfully convicted of statutory rape in 1970 says his records show Gerald Barton pleaded guilty to the charge just as his trial was about to begin.

Charles Haliburton cited documents he retrieved from an old storage room in Digby during his testimony today in the Nova Scotia Supreme Court.

The now retired provincial Supreme Court judge's testimony contrasts with Barton's, who testified he never pleaded guilty to the charge of having sexual intercourse with a female between 14 and 16 years of age.

Barton also says a statement to police attributed to him was a fabrication.

In the statement, Barton is quoted as saying he had consensual sex with a 14-year-old girl at her home in Jordantown in 1969, but Barton testified that he never spoke to any officers.

Haliburton says aside from the notation on his file about the guilty plea, there is no record of the court proceedings on Jan. 14, 1970, that led to Barton's conviction.

Barton is suing the Nova Scotia Crown for malicious prosecution and the RCMP for negligent investigation.

Organizations: Supreme Court, RCMP

Geographic location: Nova Scotia, HALIFAX, Digby Jordantown

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