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Surrey man alleges summer camp director sexually abused him as a child

Supreme Court lawsuit claims since-deceased director had pattern of pedophilic behaviour in 1980s
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A B.C. man filed a lawsuit in the B.C. Supreme Court on May 9, 2024, alleging that he was sexually abused as a young boy while attending a summer camp in Metro Vancouver in the 1980s. Here, the entrance to the B.C. Supreme Court is seen in Vancouver. (Tom Zytaruk/Black Press Media)

A Surrey man has launched a lawsuit claiming he was sexually abused as a young boy while attending an overnight summer camp in Metro Vancouver in the 1980s.

Filed in the B.C. Supreme Court last week, the lawsuit claims that the director of Camp Capilano in the 1970s and 80s, John “Jack” Frederick Way, was prone to pedophilic sexual desires and preyed on the lawsuit’s plaintiff when he was about nine years old.

Way died in 2014. None of the allegations against him have been proven in court.

The plaintiff, referred to as C.C.#1 (Camp Campilano #1) in court documents, says he attended the camp in North Vancouver in or around 1987, through an overnight trip organized by Scouts Canada and the United Church of Canada. Both groups, as well as the Metro Vancouver Regional District and City of Vancouver are named in the lawsuit in addition to Way, as negligent parties.

C.C.#1 claims the defendants knew or should have known that Way “engaged in patterned or habitual predatory behaviour wherein he gained access to male children who were attending Camp Capilano, isolated said children, and sexually abused said children.”

The plaintiff’s lawyer Sandra Kovacs told Black Press Media she has had contact with at least one other alleged victim of Way’s, but that he is not prepared to come forward. She said they chose to identify the current plaintiff as the #1 victim because they “wholly anticipate there will be other complainants” in the future.

On the trip C.C.#1 took to Camp Capilano as a young boy, the plaintiff says Way groped his naked body, pressed his erect penis against C.C.#1’s back and held him down. The plaintiff claims he was also forced to urinate in a bucket.

“The abuse by Way constitutes assault, battery, trespass to the person, intentional infliction of mental suffering, and a breach of fiduciary duty,” the lawsuit reads.

As a result of the experience, the plaintiff says he has suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, severe shame, the inability to trust others and symptoms of anxiety and depression, among other things.

The lawsuit seeks an unspecified amount for damages to the plaintiff, loss of past and future earning capacity and health care costs.

None of the defendants, including Way, Scouts Canada, the United Church of Canada, the Metro Vancouver Regional District or the City of Vancouver, have filed responses to the lawsuit as of publication, and none of the allegations described in the lawsuit have been proven in court.

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About the Author: Jane Skrypnek

I'm a provincial reporter for Black Press Media after starting as a community reporter in Greater Victoria.
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