EXCLUSIVE: B.C. father accused of molesting his children speaks for the first time
After the BC Court of Appeal’s scathing rebuke last week of a decision that took his kids away from him and told the world he sexually abused them, a father is telling his side of the story for the first time.
The Vancouver man, who can only be referred to as B.G., says the justice system finally got it right, and he is looking forward to building a relationship with his four kids.
On Thursday, a unanimous decision by a three-judge panel found the lower court justice had, in a family court ruling — the first of two cases he presided over in the matter — relied on unqualified expert evidence to come to the conclusion that the father had committed child abuse.
The judges also found that there was no evidence to support the lower court judge’s findings that a social worker committed misfeasance in public office and that the director of child welfare breached a fiduciary duty to the children.
Father didn’t take initial allegations seriously
Before his marriage broke down, B.G. says his life was pretty good.
“I had a great life, and four amazingly beautiful children.”
But he says things changed when his ex-wife, identified in court as J.P., started leveling allegations he sexually abused all of their kids.
“I really didn’t take the allegations that seriously,” says B.G. “because I didn’t think they could take traction and I knew the source.”
B.G. admits he was naive.
“I thought that the allegations were being seen for exactly what they were, which was false, malicious attempts to discredit me and remove me as a custodial parent.”
“I thought the justice system was going to agree with every expert that had weighed in, and that was a significant number of people. Physicians, psychologists, therapists, social workers, and the list goes on and on and on.”
Many of those experts called into question the mental health of J.P. and said there was no proof B.G. had hurt his children.
LISTEN: A Father’s Side to the Story
But in 2012, after a 96-day family trial in BC Supreme Court, the judge gave weight to one so-called “expert” in child sexual abuse and incest, who never interviewed the father or children in the case.
The BC Court of Appeal has since ruled Dr. Claire Reeves should not have been accepted as an “expert witness,” because she was unqualified.
It came to light that her credentials came from schools considered to be ‘diploma mills’, and she was more of an advocate than an expert.
Father hopes to see kids soon
“My life is a shadow of its former self. Those four kids were my reason to get up every morning.”
B.G. is now hoping to see his children soon, but he knows it won’t be easy.
“My kids have grown up now, a fairly significant portion of their lives, without any access to me at all.”
“I haven’t seen my kids since May of 2012, and they’re now all five plus years older. And for the two older children, they’re now teenagers in high school, and they were just younger children in grades 2 and 4.”
Civil case dismissed
Friday’s Appeal Court ruling also tossed out a 2015 civil decision against the province and the Director of Child, Family and Community Services.
B.C.’s top court said the unfairness of the family trial carried over to the civil case.
In the 2015 case, the same judge was highly critical of Ministry social workers, saying they showed bias against the mother and allowed unsupervised access with B.G., which led to the abuse of the youngest child – a finding that has been rejected by the Appeal Court.
In a statement on Friday, the lawyer for J.P. said they are completely disappointed with the decision, and plan to apply for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.
Next steps for B.G.
B.G.’s lawyer Morgan Camley said the goal now is to reunite the father with his children.
“Going forward, it really is a matter of helping B.G. find a way to settle back into life, hopefully, as a dad,” said Camley.
LISTEN: Reporter Charmaine de Silva joins Simi Sara tot alk about what’s next for B.G.
She said that unfortunately, once a person has been through a thing like this, it’s very difficult to manage the damage that flows from it.
“Are there other recourses that can ever be taken to make up for the 10 years that he has been fighting? Absolutely not.”
Lawyers for the mother in the case, J.P., said they plan to ask for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.
– With files from Simon Little and The Canadian Press
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