Nearly 30 years of claims of abuse and disregard at the Nova Scotia Youth Centre in Waterville, Nova Scotia, have left victims with emotional scars and lifetime suffering.
More than seventy boys entrusted to the swimming instructor’s care in 2019 filed a class action complaint accusing him of sexually abusing them. The class action attorney has estimated that there may be more than 200 potential claimants. The province’s attorney general has refuted the vast majority of the charges.
While the RCMP did not identify the suspected culprit or specify the number of victims, they did reveal that they were investigating at least 70 allegations of sexual assault that occurred at the same institution over the same period. In early 2019, a team of eleven detectives was assembled to begin the police investigation, and attorney Mike Dull filed a class action lawsuit against the Attorney General of Nova Scotia in the name of males molested as children at the facility.
Claims made in the class action lawsuit include that the center had prior knowledge of the attacks yet did nothing to stop them. According to the 2019 statement of claim, the worker was a swim teacher at Waterville who engaged in several forms of abuse against male youngsters who were either guests or residents. The lawsuit asserts that the province should have taken measures to safeguard the minors in its care against sexual misconduct by the adult males assigned to supervise them.
After hearing of an incident involving the center’s swim teacher in 2012, Dull claimed he finally contacted one of the center’s victims in 2018. The victim revealed to Dull that the institution’s boys and employees knew about the sexual misbehavior occurrences since it was common knowledge.
According to Dull, the young alleged victims of sexual assault at the center all have similar life consequences. These include early substance misuse problems, relationship challenges, underemployment, anti-social conduct, and criminal activity. Dropping out of school, early substance abuse problems, relationship problems, underemployment, anti-social conduct, and crime are all things he says have been shared among young victims.
While denying several of the claims made in the lawsuit, the Nova Scotia Attorney General confirmed the swimming teacher’s identity at the core of the case.
Damages for “negligence and breaches of fiduciary duty” on the part of the province are being sought in the class action complaint, albeit the precise amount of those damages has not yet been calculated.