Sex abuse complainants suing Ernest Fenwick MacIntosh in Nova Scotia

HALIFAX — A Nova Scotia man whose sex abuse convictions were quashed by the Supreme Court of Canada is being sued by six complainants who say he inflicted a lifetime of emotional harm.

A statement of claim was filed against Ernest Fenwick MacIntosh in the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia in Port Hawkesbury on Monday.

Each complainant is seeking $300,000 in general and aggravated damages; special damages of an amount to be determined; and $50,000 in punitive damages against MacIntosh.

The court document says MacIntosh was a prominent businessman and community leader in Port Hawkesbury who “abused his position of trust, social status and wealth to repeatedly abuse the plaintiffs.”

“Each of the plaintiffs was deprived of his childhood and has suffered a lifetime of emotional harm from the sexual abuse inflicted on them,” the claim states.

“That harm has affected all aspects of their lives.”

In an email, Daniel Naymark, one of two lawyers for the complainants, said MacIntosh was personally served with the claim at his home in Montreal.

In 2007, MacIntosh was extradited from India to face charges in Canada of indecent assault and gross indecency in connection with allegations he sexually abused boys in Cape Breton in the 1970s.

He was convicted in two separate trials of molesting four boys in Nova Scotia, but the convictions were quashed in April 2013 by Canada’s top court, which ruled MacIntosh’s charter right to a speedy trial was violated.

The six complainants in the lawsuit, who range in age from 56 to 64, say MacIntosh is liable for sexual battery, false imprisonment and intentional infliction of mental injury — allegations that have not been proven in court.

Their claim says all have suffered financially as a result of the abuse they suffered.

“The psychological impact of their abuse prevented them from pursuing post-secondary education, resulting in lower earning power than they would otherwise have enjoyed, and they have difficulty maintaining employment. Each has also incurred and/or will incur costs for mental health care.”

MacIntosh, now in his mid 70s, was arrested in Nepal in 2014 after he allegedly lured a nine-year-old boy to a hotel for sex. He was convicted of sexual abuse in that country and sentenced in 2015 to seven years in prison.

He was released last year and sent back to Canada.

Naymark said the complainants successfully lobbied the Nova Scotia legislature to amend the province’s Limitation of Actions Act to remove the old time limits barring civil claims for sexual abuse.

Changes to the act took effect in September 2015. Under the changes there are no time limits for claims of battery, assault and sexual misconduct, as well as for claims against persons with whom the claimant was in an intimate or dependent relationship.

“They now make use of the improved statute to seek justice by their own efforts,” Naymark said. “We hope that the brave actions of these victims embolden other victims to hold their abusers to account.”

It’s not clear whether MacIntosh has filed a statement of defence.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 27, 2019.

Keith Doucette, The Canadian Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Wind warning issued for central Alberta

City of Red Deer and Lacombe under wind warning

Only 13 new COVID-19 cases confirmed by Alberta gov’t Saturday

There’s currently only two active cases in province’s central zone

Food Truck Fridays to start new Drive and Dash events next week

Events will be held in Westerner Park parking lot Thursday evenings, Friday afternoons all June

Alberta gov’t to expand mental health supports

The Government of Alberta says a $21.6-million investment will expand online resources… Continue reading

QUIZ: Test your knowledge of the world of summer sports

In a typical year, there are plenty of summer sporting events and tournaments held across Canada

Sweats are in, slacks are out: Could ‘work-leisure’ become business as usual?

Many desk-dwellers are opting for sweatpants as work-from-home era has loosened up dress codes

Minimum wage goes up June 1 in B.C. as businesses face COVID-19 challenges

Increase is part of the government’s pledge to implement a $15 per hour minimum wage

In hard-hit Quebec, families struggle to mourn those lost to COVID-19

The province recorded more than 50,000 confirmed cases and over 4,300 deaths as of Friday

‘Little orange dot:’ Lone Alberta NDP MP says she offers different perspective

The born-and-raised Albertan held onto Edmonton Strathcona for her party

Protesters rally in Toronto against anti-black, Indigenous racism

TORONTO — Thousands of people are taking part in a rally on… Continue reading

Another COVID-19 case reported in northern New Brunswick on Saturday

CAMPBELLTON, N.B. — People from a city in northern New Brunswick lined… Continue reading

B.C. sees second day in a row with no COVID-19 deaths as schools ready to reopen

VICTORIA — British Columbia announced no new deaths from COVID-19 for the… Continue reading

Most Read