The Greater Victoria School District and two retired teachers are named as defendants in a lawsuit alleging that a student was sexually abused in the early 2000s. (Pixabay photo)

The Greater Victoria School District and two retired teachers are named as defendants in a lawsuit alleging that a student was sexually abused in the early 2000s. (Pixabay photo)

Former Saanich student files sexual abuse lawsuit against school district, retired teachers

Lawsuit claims student was groomed, abused by retired teacher

Two retired teachers and the Greater Victoria School District (SD61) have been named in a lawsuit reaching back 20 years when a then 12-year-old student allegedly faced repeated sexual abuse.

The civil claim, filed Jan. 11, says the ordeal began in 2001 when the individual described only as H.N., was in Grade 6 at Braefoot Elementary School and had decided he wanted to write a book. He approached his teacher, William Haisell, for help, but Haisell redirected him to retired teacher Gary Redgate.

READ ALSO: Former camper claims sexual abuse at Cowichan River Bible Camp

Court documents state that H.N. began working with Redgate on the book, meeting in Saanich at Braefoot Elementary School. But H.N. was soon invited to Redgate’s home. Even after the book was finished and self-published in 2002, H.N. went to Redgate’s home regularly to “play cards, watch movies and talk.”

H.N. claims Redgate confessed to him that he wanted to have a sexual relationship and created “activities” to test the idea – including groping, exposure and physical contact, as well as sharing sexual fantasies. Court documents claim there was a “dominant, continuous, sexualized tone” to Redgate’s communications with the plaintiff.

READ ALSO: Victoria substitute teacher sentenced to eight years for sexual abuse of young boys

The civil claim lists moral injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, low self-esteem and impaired ability to trust and be intimate with others among the many impacts. The claim seeks relief for punitive and aggravated damages, loss of past and future earning capacity and special damages, among others.

SD61, Redgate, and Haisell are named as defendants. Haisell and the school district owed a duty of care to H.N., court documents say.

These allegations have yet to be brought before the court.

READ ALSO: Veteran escapes jail time after Greater Victoria judge rules PTSD led him to child porn


Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: nina.grossman@blackpress.ca. Follow us on Instagram.
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