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Posts Tagged "sex"

3Oct

Three teens plead guilty in St. Michael’s sex assault scandal

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Katherine DeClerq, CTV News Toronto


Published Thursday, October 3, 2019 11:29AM EDT


Last Updated Thursday, October 3, 2019 11:57AM EDT

Three teenagers facing charges in a sexual assault scandal at St. Michael’s College School last year have pleaded guilty.

The teens pleaded guilty to sexual assault with a weapon and assault with a weapon on Thursday morning inside a Toronto courtroom.

One of the three teenagers also pleaded guilty to distributing child pornography.

In November of last year, six boys were charged in connection with the alleged sex assault of a student at the all-boys private school.

According to police, videos of the incident, which occurred inside a washroom at the school, began circulating between students and on social media.

A few months later, police said they were investigating two additional incidents. Eight students were expelled from school as a result and a seventh student was formally charged by police.

The students were each facing charges of sexual assault, gang sexual assault and sexual assault with a weapon.

Charges against one of the seven students were withdrawn in August and the cases against two others have concluded, although Ontario’s Ministry of the Attorney General would not say at the time what the outcomes were of those cases.

The last student facing charges has a court hearing scheduled for Oct. 17.

The teenagers who pleaded guilty on Thursday are scheduled to attend a sentencing hearing on Nov. 14.

They cannot be identified under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

This is a developing news story. More to come.

With files from The Canadian Press

27Aug

Human rights complaint dismissed after man with sex addiction banned from yoga studio

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A man who says he has a sex addiction had his human rights complaint dismissed after alleging he was discriminated against when he was banned from a White Rock yoga studio.

According to a BC Human Rights Tribunal application to dismiss, Erik Rutherford said he attended classes at Westcoast Hot Yoga for over 10 years. When he asked for coaching services from one of the studio’s employees who has her own outside business, however, he was turned down. 

Background in the dismissal application says Rutherford had told the coach “he was seeking help with sex addiction,” but the coach said this wasn’t her field of expertise. He also opened up to other staff about his former experiences with addiction.

Rutherford added that he had reached out to the coach “out of trust as she had offered her health coaching business to me as she had male clients from our studio, but admittedly I contacted her partly due to my mental disability as she is an attractive healthy woman.”

After asking for coaching help and telling staff about his addiction background, Rutherford alleges he was discriminated against by staff, saying they looked at him differently, gossiped about him and eventually wouldn’t let him take yoga classes at the studio. 

The yoga studio, however, said their decision to not allow Rutherford to attend classes anymore had nothing to do with his mental health. 

Instead, Westcoast told the tribunal that Rutherford “began phoning, texting and emailing Westcoast staff at all hours, making staff and some clients uncomfortable,” after his coaching request was denied. 

The yoga studio went on to say that the reason he was asked to practice somewhere else was because he didn’t “stop harassing (them) with emails and false accusations against teachers.” The yoga studio even went so far as to speak to police for help. 

Tribunal documents show that, on May 13, 2018, Rutherford sent an email to the yoga studio, stating he had talked to his 12-step advisor about the situation. 

“My main thing is alcohol but only on vacation,” the email said. “My main issue is internet or cyber pornography that is not related to the studio. If I am paying for yoga, kindly tell your instructors to not silently judge.”

The next day, Rutherford attended a yoga class and later that afternoon, got an email response from the studio. 

“I have had some very upset conversations this morning from my staff, in regards to voice messages left late last night and also teachers receiving messages from you late last night,” the email to Rutherford said. 

“On Saturday I did have a lady concerned about you staring constantly in class … it makes people very uncomfortable, and your constant approaching (the coach) at all hours, and sharing your personal issues has made her and some other staff after your message very uncomfortable.”

The email went on to say that Rutherford’s recently purchased class pass would be refunded. 

“Please do not send any further messages to all these parties, or there will need to have the police involved,” the email said. 

The BC Human Rights Tribunal has the authority to apply for a complaint to be dismissed before it goes to a hearing, particularly if the tribunal member feels the complaint doesn’t “warrant the time or expense of a hearing.” In this case, tribunal member Emily Ohler explained she did not think Rutherford’s complaint would succeed. 

Rutherford responded, saying his “disease is spiritual, mental, physical and social and financially void disease with many different facets and can easily display itself in sexual manifestations especially when abstaining from drugs and alcohol.” 

He went on to say he hasn’t “used the dangerous chemicals since early 2003.”

However, when Rutherford spoke to a doctor to get a diagnosis for his mental health issues and submit a letter to the tribunal, the doctor did not supply a diagnosis. Instead, wrote that Rutherford “does not always recognize personal boundaries,” adding that “he was more likely barred because of some behaviour that either annoyed, scared or offended an instructor.”

In her decision, Ohler said she was “reasonably certain” the yoga studio would be able to prove in a hearing “that continuing to allow Mr. Rutherford to practice yoga at its studio in the circumstances would constitute undue hardship.” 

27Aug

Man with sex addiction banned from yoga studio; human rights complaint dismissed

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A man who says he has a sex addiction had his human rights complaint dismissed after alleging he was discriminated against when he was banned from a White Rock yoga studio.

According to a BC Human Rights Tribunal application to dismiss, Erik Rutherford said he attended classes at Westcoast Hot Yoga for over 10 years. When he asked for coaching services from one of the studio’s employees who has her own outside business, however, he was turned down. 

Background in the dismissal application says Rutherford had told the coach “he was seeking help with sex addiction,” but the coach said this wasn’t her field of expertise. He also opened up to other staff about his former experiences with addiction.

Rutherford added that he had reached out to the coach “out of trust as she had offered her health coaching business to me as she had male clients from our studio, but admittedly I contacted her partly due to my mental disability as she is an attractive healthy woman.”

After asking for coaching help and telling staff about his addiction background, Rutherford alleges he was discriminated against by staff, saying they looked at him differently, gossiped about him and eventually wouldn’t let him take yoga classes at the studio. 

The yoga studio, however, said their decision to not allow Rutherford to attend classes anymore had nothing to do with his mental health. 

Instead, Westcoast told the tribunal that Rutherford “began phoning, texting and emailing Westcoast staff at all hours, making staff and some clients uncomfortable,” after his coaching request was denied. 

The yoga studio went on to say that the reason he was asked to practice somewhere else was because he didn’t “stop harassing (them) with emails and false accusations against teachers.” The yoga studio even went so far as to speak to police for help. 

Tribunal documents show that, on May 13, 2018, Rutherford sent an email to the yoga studio, stating he had talked to his 12-step advisor about the situation. 

“My main thing is alcohol but only on vacation,” the email said. “My main issue is internet or cyber pornography that is not related to the studio. If I am paying for yoga, kindly tell your instructors to not silently judge.”

The next day, Rutherford attended a yoga class and later that afternoon, got an email response from the studio. 

“I have had some very upset conversations this morning from my staff, in regards to voice messages left late last night and also teachers receiving messages from you late last night,” the email to Rutherford said. 

“On Saturday I did have a lady concerned about you staring constantly in class … it makes people very uncomfortable, and your constant approaching (the coach) at all hours, and sharing your personal issues has made her and some other staff after your message very uncomfortable.”

The email went on to say that Rutherford’s recently purchased class pass would be refunded. 

“Please do not send any further messages to all these parties, or there will need to have the police involved,” the email said. 

The BC Human Rights Tribunal has the authority to apply for a complaint to be dismissed before it goes to a hearing, particularly if the tribunal member feels the complaint doesn’t “warrant the time or expense of a hearing.” In this case, tribunal member Emily Ohler explained she did not think Rutherford’s complaint would succeed. 

Rutherford responded, saying his “disease is spiritual, mental, physical and social and financially void disease with many different facets and can easily display itself in sexual manifestations especially when abstaining from drugs and alcohol.” 

He went on to say he hasn’t “used the dangerous chemicals since early 2003.”

However, when Rutherford spoke to a doctor to get a diagnosis for his mental health issues and submit a letter to the tribunal, the doctor did not supply a diagnosis. Instead, wrote that Rutherford “does not always recognize personal boundaries,” adding that “he was more likely barred because of some behaviour that either annoyed, scared or offended an instructor.”

In her decision, Ohler said she was “reasonably certain” the yoga studio would be able to prove in a hearing “that continuing to allow Mr. Rutherford to practice yoga at its studio in the circumstances would constitute undue hardship.” 

29Jul

Victoria care aide acquitted of sex charges over elderly women’s complaints

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Provincial Court Judge Dwight Stewart praised the women for their bravery during the trial.


Halfpoint / Getty Images

VICTORIA — A provincial court judge has found that collusion, whether intentional or not, was a factor in the acquittal of a care-home aide accused of sexually abusing elderly, disabled patients at a facility in Victoria.

Forty-year-old Saanich resident Amado Ceniza was accused of multiple counts of sexual assault and sexual exploitation of a person with a disability.

He had pleaded not guilty and denied the allegations made last July by three women being treated at Aberdeen Hospital’s extended-care facility for elderly residents.

The court heard the women have mobility issues, two rely on wheelchairs and another uses a walker, and each testified she was groped, hugged and kissed without her consent.

Judge Dwight Stewart ruled there were concerns about possible inadvertent collusion between the women and he also found inconsistencies in testimony about the chronology of events and the description of the alleged perpetrator.

However, he said there was a probability that Ceniza tried to hug and kiss two of the women, and found his conduct to be highly unprofessional.

Stewart praised the women for their bravery during the trial and said greater attention will be paid to these cases because of their advocacy.

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29Jul

Care home aide not guilty of 6 sex assault charges

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CTV Vancouver Island


Published Monday, July 29, 2019 10:23AM PDT


Last Updated Monday, July 29, 2019 12:26PM PDT

A Victoria care home aide walked free from court Monday, moments after he was cleared of several charges of sexually abusing elderly and disabled patients.

Amado Ceniza was charged with six counts of sexual assault and exploitation of a person with a disability in relation to alleged crimes against three women last July at Aberdeen Hospital.

The women had testified that Ceniza groped and kissed them without their consent. All three women are elderly and have mobility issues, two relying on wheelchairs, and another who uses a walker.

The judge said Monday that there were concerns about collusion between alleged victims in the case, whether intentional or not.

The judge also found inconsistencies in testimony about the chronology of events and descriptions of the alleged perpetrator.

Ceniza pleaded not guilty to the charges and denied the allegations throughout the trial.

The judge applauded the women for their bravery during the trial and said greater attention will be paid to these cases because of their advocacy.

The judge did find that there was a probability that Ceniza tried to hug and kiss two of the complainants, and found his conduct to be highly unprofessional.


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26Jun

B.C. skier launches class-action lawsuit over coach convicted of sex crimes | CBC News

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Nanaimo-born Olympian Allison Forsyth is leading a class action lawsuit claiming female athletes on the Canadian ski team were subjected to “psychological, physical and sexual assault, harassment and abuse” from 1996 to 1998.

The case revolves around former Team Canada coach Bertrand Charest who was found guilty in 2017 on 37 sex-related charges stemming from the complaints of nine women who were between the ages of 12 and 18 at the time of the crimes. 

Charest was sentenced to 12 years in prison. He was recently released on bail pending an appeal.

Read: Class action claim filed by Allison Forsyth against Alpine Canada

Charest’s employer, Alpine Canada, is named as the defendant in the lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court.

Bertrand Charest was sentenced to 12 years in prison for sexually abusing athletes between 1991 and 1998 when he was Canada’s national ski coach. He is currently out on bail pending an appeal. (Radio-Canada)

Speaking from her home in Ontario, Forsyth told CBC that the former skiers who have come forward have been stunned to learn the extent to which Canadian ski officials seemed to turn a blind eye while Charest preyed upon young skiers.

‘Things need to change’

“What I really learned is the ramifications and the depth to which this man victimized athletes — before he worked for Alpine Canada and during his time for Alpine Canada,” said Forsyth. 

“I also learned about his coaching license never being taken away. And it really showed me that things need to change so this won’t happen to young athletes again.”

Forsyth alleges in the class action claim that Charest used his power and authority to manipulate and extract sex from skiers in his charge. 

She says in the summer of 1997 while training in New Zealand, she confronted Charest about a relationship he was having with another skier identified as Athlete No. 1. Athlete No. 1 was a minor and was receiving individualized and private coaching from Charest.

According to the claim, Charest admitted to the relationship, telling Forsyth — who was 18 at the time — that he wanted to end his affair with Athlete No. 1 and that a relationship with Forsyth would help him do that.

Allison Forsyth clears a giant slalom gate at the 2002 World Cup in Are, Sweden. (Alessandro Trovati/Associated Press)

“Immediately, Charest began favouring [Forsyth], providing her with extra coaching and attention and touching her in an intimate manner,” reads the claim. “Charest told [Forsyth] that he could develop her into a great athlete and that she needed him to succeed in ski racing.”

The claim says despite Forsyth’s efforts to deflect Charest, he became ever more insistent, finding ways to get her alone and telling her a relationship with him would give her an edge over the other athletes. He even told Forsyth he could see himself married to her. 

Forsyth said she felt trapped and pressured into a sexual relationship.

Severe anxiety, psychological devastation

The claim outlines a number of alleged sexual encounters between the two, including an incident where Forsyth alleges Charest sexually assaulted her in the stall of a women’s washroom in Austria. 

Forsyth said she suffered severe anxiety that let to anorexia and psychological devastation because of Charest.

In February of 1998, Forsyth told a female physical therapist about the relationship. The therapist told her that another skier identified as Athlete No. 2 had also confessed to having sexual relations with Charest.

Sponsors over skiers

The claim alleges that soon after, Alpine Canada finally acted on the allegations against Charest. The organization’s president Joze Sparovec told Forsyth “that she would have to be careful or the team would lose sponsors.”

Charest resigned from the team with no public explanation. Alpine Canada did not revoke his coaching licence, nor were police informed. 

Allison Forsyth displays the bronze medal she won in the women’s giant slalom during at the 2003 World Alpine Ski Championships in St. Moritz, Switzerland. (Alessandro Trovati/Associated Press)

Forsyth believes he continued to coach after leaving Alpine Canada.

Alpine Canada has not filed a response and none of the allegations have been tested in court.

Forsyth’s lawyer said the intention of the class action is to include all skiers who were impacted by Charest during his tenure with Alpine Canada.

“Even people who choose not to come forward with their own stories are entitled potentially to compensation or whatever occurs in the action, even though they’re not named,” said Tanya Martin. 

In response to the lawsuit Alpine Canada said in a statement that it “applauds the tremendous courage Allison and other women have shown in coming forward and speaking out.”

In December of last year, three former national team skiers who were all minors when victimized by Charest, filed a separate lawsuit against Alpine Canada.


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18May

‘We’re just like everybody else’: New play tackles misconceptions about disabilities, love and sex | CBC News

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Talking sex and romance can be cringe-worthy for parents and their adult children — the stuff of many an awkward romantic comedy.

Now imagine you have a physical disability, can’t get in or out of your wheelchair by yourself, and need a caregiver to help you talk with others. You like a boy, but how do you date? What does consent look like in that scenario?

You might be paralyzed from the neck down, but you have sexual urges. What do you do? 

Those are some of the scenarios a new theatre production at the Anvil Centre in New Westminster wants its audience to consider about dating, romance and sex for people with disabilities.

The production, called Romance, Relationships and Rights, is described as social theatre, where the community — in this case individuals with disabilities who are also advocates — are empowered to tell their own stories. 

The actors have little professional experience but plenty of lived experience, and the six scenes from the show draw from that.

Performers are pictured during the Romance, Relationships and Rights performance at the Anvil Centre in New Westminster, B.C. on Wednesday, May 16, 2019. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

“Love has no boundaries,” says one of the actors and advocates, Dana Faris. 

“We’re just like everybody else. People can see it (the disability) as a barrier to having a relationship. They make assumptions about us.”

For example, some might assume people with disabilities aren’t capable of having relationships, or believe it might be too hard physically. But a 2018 study found that 84 per cent of individuals with mild to moderate developmental disabilities said they had been in a sexual relationship, and 87 per cent indicated that they would like to be in a relationship. 

Often, the barriers to relationships are overprotective caregivers.

The advocates in this production wanted to perform, rather than tell, their stories. Some of their scenes — about online dating and meeting a stranger for the first time — would feel familiar to anyone, irrespective of whether they have a disability.

Other stories are more unique and based on real people.

The theatre process

The show was put together in conjunction with The University of British Columbia’s Centre for Inclusion and Citizenship and theatre departments. The advocates participated in acting classes in the fall, and then scripted the show from their own experiences in January.

The process took more time and effort than a typical theatre production, but director Leyton Schnellert said it was worth it.

“Traditional actors just couldn’t tell these stories,” Schnellert said. “It’s not theirs to tell and the experience would have been totally different.”

The theatre made changes to the way the show is delivered to make it more accessible for both the actors and the audience. 

One of the actors, Justin Vancleef, is blind in his left eye, and worked with the lighting director to ensure the bright theatre lights were dimmed. Interpreters were paired with actors and also signed the show for the audience. 

All you need is love

Vancleef plays Jeffrey, a young man with multiple disabilities who wanted to date Shannon, who had difficulty communicating by herself. Their parents facilitated a date, carefully watching and ensuring that what was evolving was romantic and meaningful.

Advocates bring to life the love story of Jeffrey and Shannon. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

Then, the caregivers get out of the way and allow Jeffrey and Shannon to spend some romantic time alone. 

When Shannon’s seizures worsen, Jeffrey is at her side in hospital simply holding her hand even while she’s in coma. There’s hardly a dry eye in the audience. 

Ainsleigh Spencer, a support worker who came to the show with his client, was choked up after the performance.

“I thought it was beautiful, insightful, really meaningful,” Spencer said. “It’s just a beautiful story about two people who found love, and it ended too quickly.”

And for Vancleef — who like his character needs the help of an interpreter to communicate — the message to the audience is simple.

“We have the right to date and love just like anyone else.”

Many in the audience teared up during the final scene. (Ben Nelms/CBC)


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16May

Summerland lifeguard faces multiple sex charges involving children

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Summerland lifeguard guard Edward Casavant, 54, has been charged with multiple sex crimes involving children.


RCMP handout

The long-time lifeguard at the public pool in Summerland has been arrested and charged with multiple sex offences involving children.

Penticton RCMP arrested Edward Casavant, 54, on outstanding warrant on Wednesday.

The Penticton resident has been charged with 10 counts relating to incidents that allegedly occurred between 2008 and 2014, including:

• 2 counts of making or publishing child pornography;
• 1 count of importing or distributing child pornography;
• 1 count of possession of child pornography;
• 1 count of accessing child pornography;
• 1 count of secretly observe/record nudity in private place;
• 1 count of sexual exploitation of a person with a disability;
• 1 count of sexual assault;
• 1 count of sexual interference of person under 16;
• 1 count of Invitation to sexual touching under 16.

The RCMP say Casavant, also known as Eddie Spaghetti, was employed as a lifeguard at the Summerland Aquatic & Fitness Centre for more than 30 years, beginning in the late 1980s.

Police, who began investigating Casavant last November after receiving a tip from the public, believe he used his position to gain access to school-aged children.

Casavant also volunteered as a lifeguard at various local summer camps and other community events.

“While we have identified at least two victims, we strongly believe there are additional victims who may not have already reported, or may not be aware they are a victim,” said RCMP spokesman Cpl. Chris Manseau.

Manseau is asking other potential victims to contact the Penticton RCMP tip line at 250-276-2177.


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16May

Longtime Penticton lifeguard facing child porn, sex assault charges: RCMP

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A Penticton man who worked as a lifeguard for decades is facing a slew of charges related to child pornography and sexual assault.

In a statement, Mounties said Edward Casavant, who also goes by “Eddie Spaghetti,” is facing 10 counts in connection with incidents that allegedly took place between 2008 and 2014:

  • 2 counts of making or publishing child pornography
  • 1 count of importing or distributing child pornography
  • 1 count of possession of child pornography
  • 1 count of accessing child pornography
  • 1 count of secretly observe/record nudity in private place
  • 1 count of sexual exploitation of a person with a disability
  • 1 count of sexual assault
  • 1 count of sexual interference of person under 16
  • 1 count of Invitation to sexual touching under 16

He was arrested on Wednesday.

This is a breaking news story and will be updates as more information becomes available


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16May

Longtime Summerland lifeguard facing child porn, sex assault charges: RCMP

by admin

CTV News Vancouver


Published Thursday, May 16, 2019 1:55PM PDT


Last Updated Thursday, May 16, 2019 4:22PM PDT

A Penticton man who worked as a lifeguard for decades is facing a slew of charges related to child pornography and sexual assault.

In a statement, Mounties said Edward Casavant, who also goes by “Eddie Spaghetti,” is facing 10 counts in connection with incidents that allegedly took place between 2008 and 2014:

  • Two counts of making or publishing child pornography
  • One count of importing or distributing child pornography
  • One count of possession of child pornography
  • One count of accessing child pornography
  • One count of secretly observe/record nudity in private place
  • One count of sexual exploitation of a person with a disability
  • One count of sexual assault
  • One count of sexual interference of person under 16
  • One count of Invitation to sexual touching under 16

The 54-year-old was arrested on Wednesday.

RCMP say he worked as a lifeguard for over 30 years, beginning in the late 1980s, and also volunteered at various local summer camps and community events.

“Police believe Casavant used his position to gain access to school aged children,” said Cpl. Chris Manseau in a statement.

The District of Summerland, where Casavant worked until retiring in late 2018, called the allegations “deeply unsettling.”

“We recognize this situation is deeply upsetting to our community — to any community. It’s upsetting to us as well. We know people will have questions, and we will do our best to answer them when it is appropriate and when we have the authorities’ permission to do so,” Summerland Mayor Toni Boot said in a statement.

Boots said the district is focusing on helping those impacted by the alleged incidents.

Mounties say they have identified at least two victims, but believe there are more who either may not have reported their interaction or may not be aware they are a victim.

Anyone with more information is asked to report to the police in their jurisdiction or to call Penticton RCMP at 250-276-2177.


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