Six victims of alleged sexual abuse have filed a lawsuit against their abuser, Ernest Fenwick MacIntosh.
MacIntosh was convicted of sexually abusing boys in Cape Breton in the 1970s — convictions that were later thrown out because his right to a speedy trial was violated.
Now, six complainants who say they “suffered a lifetime of emotional harm” at the hands of MacIntosh, are suing him for damages.
The complainants, who are now between the ages of 56 and 64, were repeatedly sexually abused by MacIntosh in the early 1970s, according to the statement of claim filed in Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Port Hawkesbury on Dec. 23.
It says MacIntosh was a prominent businessman and community leader in Port Hawkesbury, and for years he “used his position of trust, social status, and wealth to prey on and sexually abuse vulnerable young boys,” and “as a result of his sexual abuse, he has caused the plaintiffs to suffer severe physical and psychological harm that continues to this day.”
“MacIntosh now knows that his victims will not stay silent, and that he cannot avoid justice from his crimes forever,” wrote Daniel Naymark, one of the two lawyers representing the complainants, in a statement.
“We hope that the brave actions of these victims embolden other victims to hold their abusers to account.”
MacIntosh was extradited to Canada from India in 2007 to face charges of indecent assault and gross indecency. He was convicted in two separate trials of molesting four boys in Nova Scotia, but the convictions were quashed in April 2013 after the Supreme Court of Canada ruled the cases took too long.
In 2014, MacIntosh was arrested in Nepal after he allegedly lured a nine-year-old boy to a hotel for sex. He was convicted of sexual abuse in that country and sentenced in 2015 to seven years in prison.
Last year, MacIntosh was sent back to Canada, where he’s been living in Quebec.
“MacIntosh was able to avoid justice for his actions when his criminal charges were permanently stayed as a result of repeated inaction by the governments of both Nova Scotia and Canada,” wrote Naymark. “After his charges were stayed, MacIntosh moved to Nepal where he continued to sexually abuse children. He was eventually tried, convicted and sentenced by the Nepalese courts to seven years in prison, but was allowed to return to Canada before serving his full sentence.”
The six complainants are each seeking $350,000 in damages — $300,000 for general and aggravated damages and $50,000 for punitive and exemplary damages. The lawsuit claims MacIntosh is liable for sexual battery, false imprisonment and intentional infliction of mental injury.
MacIntosh was served the lawsuit at his home in Montreal, according to Naymark. None of these allegations have been proven in court.