A man who alleges he was sexually assaulted by a priest, John Nauss, as a child is now suing the Bridgewater ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS).
The survivor had attended the Bridgewater ward of the LDS in the 1980s a as a youth. The survivor alleges that from approximately 1980 to 1981 the priest sexually assaulted him on several occasions at the Bridgewater Ward LDS Meetinghouse. The civil claims alleges that LDS failed to screen and vet Nauss. The LDS has yet filed Defence to the lawsuit. The lawsuit also alleges that in 1992, the priest was transferred to LDS institution in Brampton, Ontario.
As canvassed below there appears to be other survivors and further civil claims are likely.
Priest Charged Criminally for Assaulting Multiple Victims
On February 16, 2022, Bridgewater Police received its first complaint about Nauss from a survivor. After a months long investigation, the police identified five more victims who alleged sexual assault spanning from approximately 1978 too 1981.
In June 2022, the Bridgewater police laid 19 charges against John Nauss for multiple counts of gross indecency and indecently assaulting a victim. At the time the Bridgewater Police believe that there were more survivors and urged them to come forward.
Nauss Is scheduled to appear in Bridgewater Provincial court on May 17, 2023, to elect or plea.
Your Legal Options After Sexual or Institutional Abuse
At Wagners, we’ve met survivors of sexual or institutional abuse who find it extremely difficult to share their experiences, even with a lawyer. We have a team that is professional and compassionate so you can rely on their experience to explain your legal options and provide the assistance you need to fight for your fair compensation. Abuse survivors can trust us to use the information they share to ensure the person or institution responsible are brought to justice. We take the time to evaluate the specifics of your case and advise on the best legal option to help you receive the monetary compensation you need to recover from the abuse you endured.
File criminal charges: If you take this option, you will not get monetary compensation. Investigations will be done, and the accused will be arrested if sufficient evidence is found. If the defendant is found guilty, he or she could face punishment like imprisonment.
Civil lawsuit: In this case, we pursue the case on behalf of the survivor in civil court. If found at fault, the assailant will be required to pay monetary compensation, which would assist the survivor to recover from the abuse.
Class action lawsuit: It is also possible to file a class action lawsuit against an assailant who assaulted several people. The group of survivors can come together to collectively file a class action suit against the person or institution that was responsible for the assault or abuse.
At Wagners, we firmly believe that no amount of compensation can eliminate the pain and suffering that your assailant caused, but there is so much good that comes from a successfully resolved institutional or sexual abuse claim. As a survivor, the monetary compensation you receive can assist you to recover from the abuse and cater to the medical costs involved. Holding the assailant accountable also restores your dignity and encourages other victims of sexual and institutional abuse to come out and seek justice as well.
The amount of compensation you deserve for your sexual or institutional abuse claim will depend on many factors. Some of these factors include:
- How the abuse affected your ability to support yourself and make sufficient income
- The type of medical treatment you need or you have sought due to the abuse
- The personal or unique circumstances of your lawsuit
We know that sexual or institutional abuse is a terrible experience, and many victims usually have a heavy burden that they are likely to carry for a long time. For this reason, we offer reliable legal assistance that you need to get the monetary burden off your shoulders. Our main goal is to build a strong strategy and successfully fight for your rights.