WARNING: Disturbing details.
Darren Telford waited a long time for this.
On Monday, he finally had a chance to speak up in court about Joseph Duff, the deceased man he has accused of sexually assaulting him on numerous occasions, starting when he was in kindergarten at Maple Ridge’s Glenwood Elementary School.
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“It’s kind of surreal,” Telford told Global News.
“I’ve waited so long and it feels good to be in there.”
At a civil trail hearing, Telford testified that Duff, who was allegedly a school volunteer, approached him at a playground one day.
He said Duff put his hands on his back, took him “out of bounds,” and put his hand down his pants.
Telford said Duff stroked his penis and said, “it’s getting bigger, it’s getting bigger. Good job.”
He testified that Duff sexually assaulted him numerous times on and off school property.
“It’s a flood of emotions,” Telford said of testifying.
“But I’ve had to deal with this my whole life, I’ve almost become numb to it.”
Telford said his mother reported the abuse to the school in 1991, but nothing was ever done.
There are complications in the case — Duff is dead. So is Telford’s mother. And so is George Sikora, the school’s principal.
The lawyer for the school district said the case involves a large amount of hearsay evidence.
The school district denies liability on a number of grounds, including that employees didn’t know of any wrongdoing.
Duff was charged with eight sex-related offences involving three children in 1999, but that case never went to trial.
He later entered a peace bond on two counts involving Telford alone in January 2000.
He was released under court-ordered conditions including that he have no contact with five children, including Telford.
But it’s not clear why.
A lawyer who once represented Joseph Duff previously told Global News that peace bonds are entered into for numerous reasons, and that they don’t imply guilt.
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