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

Warm ‘blob’ could be behind mass starvation of North Pacific seabirds: Study

Unprecedented death toll raises red flag for North American marine ecosystems

Some 500 people attend Sidney vigil for victims of Iran airplane crash

All 176 passengers, including 57 Canadians, died when Flight PS752 crashed

Six boat wrecks wash up on Cadboro Bay beaches over the weekend

Dead Boat Society working with Oak Bay, Saanich to clear derelict boats

Saanich Police ask for help locating missing high-risk youth

Robyn Coker-Steel has not been in contact with anyone from her home since Dec. 27

VIDEO: Soldiers trade rifles for snow shovels to help dig out St. John’s

A state of emergency is set to extend into a fifth day

Power lines cut as thieves strike Vancouver Island veterinary hospital

‘Thankfully there weren’t any animals or staff in the clinic when this happened’

ICBC to bring in ranking system for collision, glass repair shops

Change comes after the much-maligned auto insurer has faced criticism for sky-high premiums

Surrey’s ‘Pink Palace’ being used for Stephen King horror shoot

New web series based on King’s The Stand novel

‘It was just so fast’: B.C. teen recalls 150-metre fall down Oregon mountain

Surrey’s Gurbaz Singh broke his leg on Mount Hood on Dec. 30

Vancouver Island Pride weekend returns to Mount Washington Alpine Resort

Building on the success of last year’s family-friendly pride festival on Vancouver… Continue reading

Scarlett Point lighthouse keeper wins a million bucks playing the lottery

“I usually just get a quick pick, so I didn’t expect to win a big prize”

B.C. woman crowned the fastest female marathon runner in Canadian history

Malindi Elmore ran an incredible 2:24:50 at the Houston Marathon

Alberta bulldog breeder ordered to refund B.C. buyer over puppy’s behaviour

Tribunal ruled a verbal agreement to send a new dog superseded the written contract

Most Read