Furlong says RCMP letter clears him in abuse case

Former Vancouver Olympic CEO John Furlong says the RCMP have closed an investigation into allegations of sexual assault against him by a former student and found no evidence to support criminal charges, prompting him to declare he’s been “fully cleared” in one of a series of allegations and lawsuits facing him.

VANCOUVER — Former Vancouver Olympic CEO John Furlong says the RCMP have closed an investigation into allegations of sexual assault against him by a former student and found no evidence to support criminal charges, prompting him to declare he’s been “fully cleared” in one of a series of allegations and lawsuits facing him.

The allegations stem from Furlong’s time teaching in northern B.C. in the late 1960s and early 1970s, which first surfaced in a newspaper article last year. The article quoted several people who said they were former students and claimed to have been verbally and physically abused by Fulong. It’s now the subject of a libel lawsuit by Furlong targeting the author.

Three people, including Beverly Abraham, have filed lawsuits against Furlong alleging sexual abuse, and the RCMP launched its own investigation into Abraham’s claims.

Furlong publicly released a letter Thursday written by an RCMP investigator in Prince George, under the heading: “John Furlong — allegation of sexual assault.”

“Based on the facts uncovered, the allegations made by Beverly Abraham are not supported,” wrote Cpl. Quinton Mackie in a letter sent to Furlong’s lawyer, dated Dec. 5.

“Reasonable and probable grounds do not exist on which to recommend charges against John Furlong to Crown counsel. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police are no longer investigating John Furlong with respect to this allegation.”

Two months ago, during a media blitz that saw Furlong defend his reputation and lash out at the reporter behind the original article, the former Olympic official released an earlier letter from the RCMP he received in April.

That letter also said the RCMP “found nothing to substantiate the complaint,” but it also suggested investigators “continue to speak to people” whose names had surfaced in court documents, according to a copy of the letter published by Global News. At the time, the RCMP publicly insisted the investigation remained open.

RCMP Sgt. Rob Vermeulen confirmed the correspondence was sent to Furlong with respect to Abraham, but declined further comment, citing the civil lawsuits still underway.

Furlong issued a written statement in which he said the RCMP’s letter to him “fully exonerates” him with respect to Abraham’s allegations. He said his lawyers would be requesting a trial date to deal with her lawsuit.

“I am grateful that the record has now been fully cleared in this matter, and Beverly Abraham’s allegations have been proven to be incorrect,” the statement said.

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