VANCOUVER — The City of Vancouver has settled in a wrongful conviction lawsuit launched by a B.C. man who spent decades behind bars before being acquitted on 10 counts of sexual assault.
The city settled with Ivan Henry midway through the lengthy trial process, but the provincial and federal governments remain as defendants in the legal action.
“One third of the way there,” said Henry, smiling outside the courtroom. “We’re not done yet.”
A statement released in B.C. Supreme Court says the City of Vancouver unequivocally withdraws its allegations in its opening statement, saying Henry was guilty of the crimes.
The trial was to establish Henry’s right to compensation, but his lawyer noted during the hearing that the city still hadn’t accepted the B.C. Court of Appeal decision that Henry was innocent.
The settlement also resolves any claims Henry has made against the Vancouver Police Department.
Neither the terms nor the amount of the settlement are not being released.
Henry’s lawyer, John Laxton, said the drawn-out trial has been “very difficult” for his client.
“I would say even traumatic,” said Laxton. “The fact that this city has withdrawn all these allegations is a great relief to him.”
Henry’s daughter, Tanya Olivares, described the settlement with the city as “positive.”
Henry is suing for damages after the B.C. Appeal Court ruled in 2010 that he was wrongfully convicted on 10 counts of sexual assault in 1983.
It took more than a quarter century and upwards of 40 applications filed by Henry and his daughters before the appeal court quashed the convictions in 2010.