A BC man who was forced to take a walk in jail as a teenager as a punishment for a crime and was raped by detainees during the experiment will receive $ 175,000 as a result following a decision by the BC Supreme Court this week.
The decision comes as a result of a case that was filed by the victim, identified in court documents as B.E.S, who is now 54 years old.
According to court documents, B.E.S was sexually assaulted during a visit to the Oakalla prison – a penitentiary in Burnaby that no longer exists – in the late 1970s as part of what was considered a "Scared Straight" tour.
That tour was the result of the break-and-enter that B.E.S committed in a house, after one of his school friends challenged him and the other two to break into a house and steal what they could.
After a first failed attempt to enter, B.E.S and his friends returned to the same house the next day, where they "drank orange juice" and successfully robbed a large television.
Police were alerted about the break-in and apprehended B.E.S. and his friends almost immediately. A policeman took B.E.S. home, where his mother, annoyed by the news of his son, "forbade" him to socialize with his friends.
The program "Scared Straight"
B.E.S. had to go to court as a result of his arrest, and it was here that the judge mentioned that there was a "direct fear" program for this type of crime and asked his parents if they would allow him to participate.
B.E.S. said his parents agreed, but admitted he had no idea what a "frightened" program was.
A few months after his appearance in court, B.E.S. was taken home by a bailiff who took him to Oakalla.
Upon arrival, they entered the main entrance and walked down a corridor. He was told to sit in a room on the left while the probation officer spoke to a guard. This guard then "grabbed him" and carried him up one or two flights of stairs, according to court documents.
At the top of the stairs, they turned right. The guard who was escorting B.E.S. he told another guard, who was sitting at a table, to leave.
B.E.S. said at that moment, there were five detainees standing and the guard proceeded to push B.E.S. in a cell with them and lock the door, saying B.E.S. They were going to show him what the prison was like.
The prisoners then took turns at him – causing "extreme pain" in B.E.S.
Eventually, the guard opened the door and pulled him out of the cell, then led B.E.S. on the other side of the parking lot and down some stairs. He opened a door to an area where there were four or five cells.
The guard pushed B.E.S. in one of the cells and locked it for a period of time. When the guard finally let go, he was pushed against a wall and said no one would believe his story. B.S. and the guard then climbed a flight of stairs, where he was met by his parole officer and taken home.
The incident was detailed in court documents made public after the ruling.
Prison held numerous tours
Located in Burnaby, Oakalla – renamed the Regional Correctional Center of the Lower Mainland in 1970 – was closed on June 30, 1991 and became the site of a new housing development.
Before its closure, however, the jail held numerous youth outings between 1978 and 1981, according to court documents. These excursions regularly included teens being left alone, locked in dark cells and forced to undergo various forms of abuse.
In distributing its ruling, Judge Jennifer Duncan wrote that she found that B.E.S. was sexually assaulted by several inmates of the Oakalla prison due to the actions of a corrections officer and that the Province is vicariously responsible for the actions of the unknown officer.
B.E.S received $ 150,000 in non-pecuniary damages and $ 25,000 at the cost of future care.