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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Brittny Anderson seeks Nelson-Creston NDP nomination

Anderson is currently a member of Nelson city council

Conservative opposition critic tours through Kootenay riding on listening tour

Pierre Poilievre, the Tory finance critic, gathering local feedback on pandemic supports, recovery issues

Kaslo art exhibit invites you to play in the forest

Hide and seek on the Kaslo River Trail

Two men killed in Hwy 3 collision west of Castlegar

The single-vehicle incident happened Thursday morning

Nelson considering new Hall Street pier as part of COVID-19 economic stimulus plan

Pier needs replacing, with possible designed public space added

B.C. reports 122 new COVID-19 cases as health officials urge smaller social circles

Health officials urge against shaming and blaming patients

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

70-year-old punched in the head in dispute over disability parking space in Nanaimo

Senior’s turban knocked off in incident at mall parking lot

Thousands of child care spaces coming to 35 B.C. communities

Province announces milestone in Childcare BC plan

Most Read