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Charlottetown radio host pleads guilty to giving teen unwanted hug in Tim Hortons bathroom

Eric MacEwen, left, leaves the provincial courthouse in Charlottetown with his lawyer, Brendan Hubley, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018.
Eric MacEwen, left, leaves the provincial courthouse in Charlottetown with his lawyer, Brendan Hubley, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018. - Ryan Ross

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - A Charlottetown radio host who gave a teenage Tim Hortons employee an unwanted hug in a restaurant bathroom was given a suspended sentence Tuesday.

Eric Wallace MacEwen, 72, appeared before Chief Judge Nancy Orr in provincial court in Charlottetown where he changed his plea to guilty of assault.

MacEwen was originally scheduled to go to trial on a charge of sexual assault but pleaded guilty instead to the lesser offence.

Crown attorney Lisa Goulden told the court the victim was working at a Tim Hortons where she was cleaning the men’s washroom on Aug. 1.

The victim left the washroom when MacEwen entered and once he was finished she went back in to continue cleaning.

Goulden said MacEwen also went back into the washroom where he made comments about how good a job the girl was doing.

MacEwen identified himself to the victim and gave her an unwanted hug.

Goulden said the victim felt trapped and later quit her job because she felt unsafe after the incident.

Before sentencing MacEwen, Orr said most people don’t go around hugging strangers in the washroom at Tim Hortons.

“It’s not typical behavior, so it’s certainly a matter of concern,” she said.

With the suspended sentence, MacEwen will be on probation for one year, during which time he is to have no contact with the victim.

MacEwen must also perform 30 hours of community service or pay $10 for every hour not completed to the Upper Room Hospitality Ministry.

Twitter.com/ryanrross

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