Man ‘scared straight’ as teenager gets $175,000 in damage award from B.C. court

Justice Jennifer Duncan ruled the sexual assault took place and the province is liable

A man who was required to visit a notorious British Columbia prison as part of a “scared straight” program has been awarded $175,000 in damages for a sexual assault that happened during the tour.

The man, only identified by his initials in the judgment, was 14 in the late 1970s when he was placed on probation for breaking and entering.

The B.C. Supreme Court decision says as part of his probation he was required to take a tour of the now-closed Oakalla prison and was sexually assaulted after a corrections officer forced him into a cell with five inmates.

The man’s lawsuit named the British Columbia government and Roderic MacDougall, a former prison guard who was convicted for indecent and sexual assaults against prisoners.

READ MORE: Guards hold noon-hour protest over safety in front of Fraser Regional prison

Justice Jennifer Duncan ruled the sexual assault took place and the province is liable, but the plaintiff couldn’t establish that MacDougall was the officer who facilitated the attack.

She awarded the man, who is now 54 years old, $150,000 in damages and $25,000 for the cost of future care, plus his legal costs.

“The structure and operation of the youth tour program in 1978 left a great deal to be desired from a modern perspective, to put in mildly,” Duncan said in her ruling posted Wednesday.

“The officers were left to choose the inmates they felt were appropriate to interact with the youth” said the judge, who noted that the youth could have been exposed to inmates facing sex charges.

“The youth were subjected to catcalls and verbal abuse by inmates, but that seemed to depend on whether the youth appeared suitably chastened by the experience. The purpose of the program was, after all, to scare children into disavowing a life of crime.”

Several successful civil court lawsuits from other prisoners were filed against MacDougall.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Two Courtenay Habitat for Humanity families receive keys to new homes

Lake Trail Road project officially has residents

Preparations ongoing for Courtenay’s annual Earl Naswell Community Christmas Dinner

The doors of the Florence Filberg Centre, downtown Courtenay, will open again… Continue reading

Valley woman found guilty on three charges following 2016 collision in Courtenay

The woman involved in a trial for a multi-vehicle collision in which… Continue reading

High winds force several BC Ferries sailing cancellations

Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay, Horseshoe Bay to Departure Bay, and Duke Point to Tsawwassen among closures

Swiss juniors train in Comox Valley

The Swiss national junior hockey team is training at the Comox Valley… Continue reading

Man dies after falling from B.C. bridge

Intoxicated man climbed railing, lost his balance and fell into the water below

B.C. animation team the ‘heart’ of new ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’

The animators, largely based in Vancouver, ultimately came up with a creative technique that is drawing praise

Light at the end of the tunnel for UN climate talks

Meeting in Katowice was meant to finalize how countries report their emissions of greenhouses gases

Janet Jackson, Def Leppard, Nicks join Rock Hall of Fame

Radiohead, the Cure, Roxy Music and the Zombies will also be ushered in at the 34th induction ceremony

Supreme Court affirms privacy rights for Canadians who share a computer

Section 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects Canadians against unreasonable search and seizure

‘I practically begged’: Kootenay woman with breast cancer denied referral to Calgary

Breast cancer patient left to fight disease alone after being denied referral to Calgary

21 detained before Paris protests as police deploy in force

There was a strong police presence outside the central Saint Lazare train station, where police in riot gear checked bags

Media, robotics, Indigenous studies coming to B.C. Grade 12 classrooms in 2019-20

Provincial tests are also being changed for students in Grade 10 to 12, the Education Ministry said

Most Read