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

What does Ladysmith think about the increase in property taxes?

We asked Ladysmith residents how they feel about this year’s tax hike

Old police station development going ahead as “mixed-use” site

Fred Green hosted the second public consultation on what should be done about the decrepit building

Friends reflect on Descoteau’s great qualities

Positive memories remain about how he enriched their lives in so many ways

LSS students ready to compete at district wide robotics competition

Students will showcase their engineering savvy with VEX robotics

Ladysmith hikes property taxes by 3.4 percent

Council approves 2019 budget that reflects the rising cost of materials and services

VIDEO: Canadian breaks women’s world record for longest plank

Dana Glowacka, of Montreal, held a plank for four hours and 20 minutes

‘I think he’s still alive’: B.C. mom pleads for help finding son last seen a month ago

Family offering $5,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Tim Delahaye

New poll suggests one-third don’t want politicians to wear religious symbols

Local politicians shouldn’t be allowed to wear hijabs, crucifixes or turbans on the job, survey suggests

Raptors fans far from home adjust plans to watch pivotal playoff game

Raptors currently lead the playoff series 3-2, and a win Saturday would vault them into NBA finals

PHOTOS: First responders in Fernie rescue baby owl who fell from nest

The baby owl’s inability to fly back to its nest prompted a rescue by first responders

Five takeaways from the Court of Appeal ruling on B.C.’s pipeline law

It’s unclear how many tools are left in B.C.’s toolbox to fight the project

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve investigating after sea lion found shot in the head

Animal is believed to have been killed somewhere between Ucluelet and Tofino

B.C. port workers set to strike on Monday in Vancouver

A strike at two container terminals would affect Canadian trade to Asia

Most Read