A man in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island (PEI) is suing the province over an alleged historic sexual assault by his former vice-principal at a school in North Rustico. (1)
On January 21st, 2022, a statement of claim was filed with the PEI. Supreme Court, stating that in the 1970s the plaintiff, who was at the time 13 to 14 years-of-age, was attending Stella Maris High School in North Rustico and was sexually assaulted by his then the vice-principal John Emile Gallant. The school had been operational between 1960 and 1978.
The vice-principal is alleged to have on several occasions picked up the student from home and drove him to school activities and functions. On one of the occasions, the vice-principal had picked up the student to take him to a school dance, however, instead the student was driven to a secluded area and sexually assaulted. This sexual misconduct is alleged to have been repeated on several occasions. (3)
As of January 26th, 2022, a statement of defense has not yet been filed by the defendants: The Attorney General of Prince Edward Island and the Department of Justice and Public Safety. It is alleged that the defendants failed in their responsibility to ensure the safety, protection, and care of the complainant. (2)
The plaintiff is seeking compensation for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of earning capacity, housekeeping, medical expenses, and the cost of future care. (4)
This is not the first time that John Emile Gallant has been involved in a lawsuit regarding sexual assault. In 2006, the PEI Supreme Court in a criminal proceeding convicted Gallant of assaulting the same individual and sentenced him to six months in jail and three years of probation following that. Additionally, Gallant was convicted and sentenced in 1997 and in 2006 for sexually assaulting two other indviduals in the 1970s.
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.