The B.C. The government was ordered to pay at least $ 175,000 to a man who was raped by several inmates during a "frightened and direct" visit to the Oakalla Prison four decades ago.
The victim, known as the initials B.E.S. in court papers, was just a teenager when he was forced to visit Burnaby Prison in the late 1970s. The tour was one of the terms of his period of freedom to come and go – a kind of "frightened and direct" form of sentence , the judge told his parents.
He expounded what happened next during an appearance in B.C. Supreme Court earlier this year.
Now 54, B.E.S. testified that a prison guard "seized him" when he arrived at Oakalla and took him to a cell where a group of detainees had been waiting. The men tried to force him to have oral sex and then took turns, according to court documents.
He said the guard was at the door, laughing while he was sexually assaulted. When it was all over, B.E.S. said the guard pushed him against the wall and said, "That's what happens to the little ones like you."
In a trial on Tuesday, Judge Jennifer Duncan found that B.E.S. In fact, he had been sexually assaulted by several prisoners in Oakalla, thanks to the actions of an unknown corrections officer.
"The province is vicariously responsible for the actions of the unknown officer," Duncan wrote, rewarding B.E.S. $ 150,000 in damages and $ 25,000 for the cost of future care, as well as its legal costs.
"B.E.S. sexual assault was a unique event, but it was brutal, and I accept that this continues to have an impact on your daily life into adulthood," said the judge.
She added that the prize could grow in the coming weeks – special and punitive damages will be determined at another court date, yet to be scheduled.
Was notorious guard involved?
But the judge rejected B.E.S. of which the responsible guard was Roderick David MacDougall, a long-time former prison officer who was convicted of several sexual assaults on the prisoners. Over the years, dozens of civil cases have been filed against MacDougall for his abuse of prisoners.
When B.E.S. Filed his own lawsuit, he named MacDougall as the officer responsible for what happened to him.
But his lawyer offered little evidence for this, in addition to the fact that MacDougall is a convicted sex offender who worked at Oakalla at the time of the robbery.
"Clearly BES took notice of Mr. MacDougall through a counselor he was seeing." BES frankly agreed that he "assumed" that Mr. MacDougall was the escort officer, based on information from his counselor "wrote Duncan.
Victim had happy childhood & # 39; before the robbery
B.E.S. grew up in Coquitlam and had a "normal and happy childhood" in the years before the arrest, according to the trial.
His life took a turn when he started high school in eighth grade and made new friends. When he was 13 or 14 years old, he and some friends invaded a house in a challenge. They stole a TV and drank orange juice from the refrigerator.
It was not a hit. The police arrived at the scene almost immediately and arrested all the children and took them home to their angry parents. B.E.S. was banned from going out with this group of friends.
His parents agreed to tour Oakalla as part of his sentence for the invasion.
The court heard that between 1978 and 1981, the Oakalla youth tour program was unstructured and visits varied from child to child depending on the whim of the supervising guard. The teenagers were locked in dark isolation cells, called by inmates and subjected to other forms of verbal abuse.
"The foregoing characteristics of a supposedly educational program are shocking in the current context, where there is a greater awareness that sexual assault in general, and against children in particular, is an insidious social problem," Duncan wrote in his trial.
Lasting psychological damage
In the case of B.E.S., a female parole officer took him home and took him to the prison, where she handed him to the unknown guard.
She took him home again after the attack, apparently not knowing what had happened. B.E.S. says he did not say anything about the attack.
The robbery left him bleeding and in pain for at least a week. He did not talk about what happened to his parents or his friends, and all of his personal relationships were tense, according to the decision.
In the decades since the attack, B.E.S. suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, personality disorder, major depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts and cocaine addiction.
The Oakalla prison closed its doors in 1991 and was demolished to make way for a housing estate.
Where to Get Help
Rape Crisis Center 24-Hour Crisis Line: 604-255-6344 or toll-free 1-877-392-7583
Support Services for Battered Women: 604-687-1867
VictimLink B.C.: 1-800-563-0808
Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868; Live chat advice on kidshelpphone.ca