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Lawsuit alleges sexual abuse at elementary school in Whitehorse

The alleged abuse is said to have happened during the 2019/20 school year.
A lawsuit alleging an elementary school educational assistant sexually abused a student will be heard in Yukon Supreme Court. (File photo)

A lawsuit filed in the Yukon Supreme Court alleges an educational assistant at a Whitehorse school sexually abused a student.

A Hidden Valley Elementary School student’s father launched the suit on behalf of his child. They are identified in the court documents by their initials.

The defendant, also identified only by initials, is alleged to have sexually abused the student during the 2019/2020 school year. The lawsuit, filed July 14, claims the abuse consisted of inappropriate sexual touching and the use of the educational assistant’s position of authority to coerce the student.

The suit notes that the student was a vulnerable minor and the educational assistant was many years his senior. It seeks to hold the educational assistant directly liable to the plaintiff for the sexual assault.

The Yukon government is also named as a defendant on the lawsuit because the educational assistant was their employee when the alleged sexual abuse occurred. It states that the defendant’s role as an educational assistant “materially enhanced the risk of the sexual abuse. “

The lawsuit claims that the Yukon government was aware or should have been aware of the educational assistant’s sexual predation activities or tendencies toward young children like the plaintiff. It states that the territorial government failed to investigate their employee’s suitability to be in charge of young children, supervise them in any reasonable fashion or conduct an adequate background check.

Because of this, the lawsuit claims the Yukon is vicariously liable for the alleged sexual abuse and its consequences.

The lawsuit claims a variety of damages resulting from the abuse. The young plaintiff is said to suffer from severe emotional and psychiatric illnesses, a loss of self esteem, inability or reduced ability to form healthy emotional relationships with others and inability or reduced ability to complete an educational program.

As a result, the lawsuit is seeking special damages and expenses, the costs of future medical, psychological, psychiatric, counseling and other services and damages in trust to cover extraordinary assistance from family and community members.

As of July 27, a statement of defence addressing the allegations had not been filed. The allegations have not been heard or proven in court.

Contact Jim Elliot at

Jim Elliot

About the Author: Jim Elliot

I’m a B.C. transplant here in Whitehorse at The News telling stories about the Yukon's people, environment, and culture.
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