Payout over teen prison rape

The provincial government has been ordered to pay a man $175,000 for a rape he sustained as a teen during a “scared straight” tour of a Burnaby prison in the late 1970s.

The now 54-year-old victim, identified as B.E.S. in court records, was 14 years old when he was caught breaking into a home with friends on a dare. During sentencing, a judge decided he would be a good candidate for the “scared straight” program.

A few months after his court appearance he was picked up by a probation officer and dropped off at the now-closed Oakalla prison in Burnaby.

B.E.S. testified at trial that he was “grabbed” by a guard and placed in a cell where five inmates were waiting. The door was locked behind him. 

The guard told B.E.S. the inmates “were going to show him what prison was like.” The men then attempted to force oral sex and raped the teen, according to the court documents.

“He felt he was fighting for his life and he screamed ‘Get off me!’ or words to that effect. The guard was standing at the cell doors laughing.”

Afterwards the guard pulled the teen out of the cell, pushing him up against the wall and saying “That’s what happens to little f**kers like you… Nobody’s going to believe you”.

The provincial government denied the rape ever occurred, but Justice Jennifer Duncan sided with the plaintiff on a balance of probabilities.

The lawsuit named Roderic David MacDougall as the prison guard that facilitated the rape. MacDougall was a guard at the prison at the time that was later convicted of sexually assaulting multiple inmates.

Justice Duncan, however, found no proof MacDougall was the guard that placed B.E.S. in the cell and found the provincial government responsible for the unknown guard’s actions.

Since the sexual assault, the victim has struggled with addiction issues and has attempted suicide multiple times.

“The sexual assault of B.E.S. was a single event, but it was brutal and I accept that it continues to have an impact on his day-to-day functioning well into adulthood,” Duncan found.

She awarded B.E.S. $150,000 in non-pecuniary damages and $25,000 for the cost of future care.

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