Update: Former Halifax teacher pleads not guilty to most recent molestation charges
Former teacher and minor hockey coach in the Halifax area accused of molesting boys has pleaded not guilty to his most recent charges, from incidents that allegedly happened more than 30 years ago.
Lawyer Christa Thompson appeared in Halifax provincial court on behalf of Jaddus Joseph Poirier, 80, who is charged with sexual interference, sexual exploitation and sexual assault.
The offences involve the same individual and were allegedly committed between January 1988 and July 1990. The charges were first in court this summer.
There is a publication ban on the identity of the complainant.
After Thompson entered the not-guilty pleas for her client, Judge Ann Marie Simmons had scheduled the trial for Jan. 25 and 26, 2024.
The Crown attorney on the case is Constance MacIsaac, who specializes in prosecuting sexual offences.
Poirier was one of the two seniors arrested back in 2019 in Operation Apollo, an investigation that had began in 2016 after multiple men reported they had been sexually abused as children by teachers and coaches in the 1970s and 1980s.
Jaddus Joseph Poirier, 79, former teacher and coach accused of Sexual Abuse
Jaddus Joseph Poirier along with Micheal Patrick McNutt were the focus of Program Apollo. Halifax Regional Police launched Program Apollo, a focused investigation, after several former students and athletes coached by these men alleged they were sexually abused by them. As result of Project Apollo, McNutt pleaded guilty and received a 15-year prison term for sexual abusing numerous victims.
Poirier, like McNutt, was a teacher and volunteer hockey coach in Halifax spanning the years 1983 to 2002. As a result of the allegations, Poirier has being charged with two counts of gross indecency and two counts of sexual assault. Poirier’s criminal trial was originally scheduled for August 2021. However, Poirier had a appendectomy in May 2021 and reportedly has been suffering from complications. Poirier reports that his health has declined and he now requires a wheelchair, suffers from vision problems, and needs to lie down to rest every couple hours. As a result, Poirier’s trial has been rescheduled for January 17, 2022.
Civil Lawsuits against the Halifax Regional School Board and Sports Associations
Civil lawsuits are likely to be filed against Halifax Regional School Board and a number of local sports organizations in regards to the abuse by Poirier. These lawsuits in general claim that theses organizations and the Halifax Regional School Board failed to protect the victims and failed to take steps to remove Poirier when they became aware, or ought to have been aware, that he was a sexual predator.
The purpose of these lawsuits is for victims to see monetary compensation for pain and suffering, lost income, valuable services, and the cost of care (e.g. psychological counselling).
No Time Limit on Bringing Sexual Assault Claims in Nova Scotia
In 2015, Nova Scotia adopted the Limitation of Actions Act, SNS 2014, c 35 which removed any time limitation on when a lawsuit must be filed in regard to sexual abuse. This means that historical victims of sexual abuse that are now ready to come forward can initiate lawsuits despite the fact the abuse happened years or even decades previously.
Legal Help for Sexual Abuse and Sexual Assault
The lawyers at Wagners understand that being sexually molested or assaulted is a challenging and painful experience to endure. You deserve to be protected, heard, and advocated for. We know that discussing a sexual assault experience is challenging, but we promise to listen to you, help you understand all viable legal options, ensure your assailant is held liable, and fight for your right to get fair compensation for the damages you suffered.
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: The law allows you to file a claim in a civil court against your assailant or the institution that hired him or her. Unlike criminal charges, a claim (civil action) can result in a settlement to help you (the victim) recover from the assault or abuse you endured.
Class action lawsuit: This type of lawsuit is filed by a group of people who were sexually assaulted or abused by the same accused party. The victims can collectively file a claim (class-action lawsuit) against their assailant or the institution liable for the abuse or assault.
With the help of a highly experienced sexual assault lawyer, you will gain an in-depth understanding of your legal options and take the right action depending on the circumstances of your lawsuit.
Compensation in Sexual Assault Cases
At Wagners, we firmly believe that no amount of monetary compensation can take away the pain linked to sexual assault. But there are many benefits of resolving sexual assault lawsuits successfully. The plaintiffs can get the financial help they need to get the right medical assistance and start rebuilding their lives. Besides, bringing your abuser to justice can restore your dignity and probably encourage other survivors of sexual assault to seek justice as well.
If you win a sexual abuse claim, you may be entitled to compensation for:
- Lost income in case you cannot get back to work
- Psychological and emotional distress
- Mental health therapy and necessary counseling expenses
- Medical-related costs
- Other financial losses like loss of job prospects and failure to finish education
The amount of compensation you deserve for your sexual 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 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 and start rebuilding your life. Our main goal is to build a strong strategy and successfully fight for your rights.
 https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/former-teacher-s-trial-on-historical-sex-offences-postponed-by-the-pandemic-1.6005311; https://www.saltwire.com/cape-breton/news/provincial/former-halifax-area-teachers-trial-on-sex-charges-adjourned-again-100630441/