UPDATE: Sexual assault investigation shut down
WATCH ABOVE: 16X9’s “Saint John Update”
This week on 16×9, we update an exclusive report we originally aired in September 2013.
Our story featured the dark memories of survivors of childhood sexual assaults committed by former Saint John, N.B., police officer Kenneth Estabrooks. 16×9’s investigation looked at abuses spanning 25 years from 1957 to 1982. It was the first time many of the survivors had ever told anyone their stories. Over a six-month investigation, we uncovered the names of 40 people who say they were sexually assaulted by Estabrooks when they were children.
READ MORE: A city’s shame: uncovering long-held secrets
Two days after our story aired, the City of Saint John revealed shocking new victim numbers that were much higher than anyone had imagined. Investigators hired by the city said they had received information leading them to believe Estabrooks assaulted 263 children, making him one of the worst child predators in Canadian history.
WATCH BELOW: Investigators announce disturbing new details in case
After our story aired bringing national focus to the abuses, Bobby Hayes, who told us he was one of the survivors, finally felt he could speak publicly about what happened to him.
“You start to think about someone raping you, beating you up, pouring gas on you, urinating on you, following you, terrorizing you, showing you their gun, bullying you, harassing you, picking you up by the hair on your head, slam your head against a wall,” he says, shaking his head.
“There’s not too many that he never caught. That’s the scary part.”
WATCH ABOVE: Bobby Hayes talks about being sexually abused by former Saint John, NB police officer Kenneth Estabrooks, and the damage done to dozens of his friends.
In December, Hayes was named lead plaintiff in a class action lawsuit launched against the City of Saint John, its Police Commission and its Police Department.
Hayes’s lawyer, John McKiggan, told 16×9 the city has now stopped the investigation which was focused on uncovering all of Estabrooks’ victims.
“You’ll have to speak to their council to see why they’ve stopped the investigation, but it’s correct to say that they have,” said McKiggan.
When 16×9 contacted officials for the City of Saint John, we were referred to the City’s lawyer, Michael Brenton, for comment.
“As Mr. McKiggan has now filed and served a Notice of Action with Statement of Claim Attached against the City in the Court of Queen’s Bench and the litigation is ongoing, it would be inappropriate for the City or our office to comment to the media concerning the allegations made, the issues involved and the status of our investigation of same,” Michael Brenton wrote in an email to 16×9.
“I’d like for the accountability to be done, and these guys to be looked after instead of living in a one-room apartment … sitting there day after day and thinking about a man raping you,” said Hayes.
Don’t miss an encore presentation of “Saint John Update” this Sunday at 12pm on 16×9.
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