Civil suit alleges years of sexual abuse at Seaforth Golf Course by instructor Cameron Doig

The lawsuit comes as one of the defendants faces several sex-related charges stemming from past events in Seaforth. File / Global News

A new civil lawsuit filed on behalf of an unidentified victim alleges Cameron Doig, a prominent golf instructor at the Seaforth Golf Course, “groomed and sexually abused” an underage student while course management turned a blind eye.

A statement of claim provided to Global News lists both Seaforth Golf Course and Cameron Doig, 61, of Huron East as defendants. The document has kept the plaintiff’s name private in order to protect her identity, but refers to her as an Ontario resident.

The lawsuit, which is being led by lawyer Nicole Marcus of Strosberg Sasso Sutts LLP, seeks compensation in general damages, along with an amount in special, aggravated and punitive damages against the defendants.

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The statement of claim describes the Doig family as well-known and highly regarded in the golf community, noting that the 61-year-old’s father and uncle founded Seaforth Golf Course in 1960.

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The plaintiff began taking lessons under Doig in 1993, according to the statement of claim.

She is described as having been a “talented, ambitious and passionate golfer” with dreams of turning professional. She trusted Doig, valued his approval and viewed him as a “father figure,” according to the statement of claim.

The statement of claim alleges that starting in 1995, when the plaintiff was 13, Doig repeatedly sexually abused, assaulted and exploited the plaintiff over the course of five years.

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The allegations, which have not been proven in court, include inappropriate and sexually charged comments made toward the plaintiff, a number of incidents involving unwanted touching, kissing and fondling, unwanted sexual advances, voyeurism and dozens of instances of sexual assault against the plaintiff.

The statement of claim alleges Doig “paired his abusive conduct with positive reinforcement and preyed on (the plaintiff’s) need and desire for his approval.”

“(Doig) further manipulated (the plaintiff) by giving and withdrawing his acceptance and approval in accordance with her willingness to submit to the abuse,” the statement of claim added.

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Along with the allegations of sexual abuse lodged against Doig, the lawsuit accuses Seaforth Golf Course of facilitating the abuse.

“(Doig) was afforded the opportunity to abuse his power and authority over and to sexually abuse (the plaintiff) by virtue of his status as a supervisor and lead golf instructor,” the statement of claim alleges.

It also accuses the golf course of neglecting to provide the plaintiff an owed duty of care, adding that it knew or ought to have known about the alleged abuse.

Depression, anxiety, severe trust issues, loss of income and meaningful career opportunities and loss of enjoyment of life are among several long-term consequences that the plaintiff endured as a result of the alleged abuse, according to the statement of claim.

Frederick Leitch, a lawyer representing Seaforth Golf Course, told Global News in an email that the allegations by the plaintiff “are being investigated for their truth.”

“In due course a statement of defense will be served and filed… Until then no further comment would be appropriate.”

Doig could not be reached for comment before publication.

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The civil lawsuit comes as Doig faces several charges relating to past events in Seaforth.

In May, Huron County OPP arrested Doig on eight counts of sex-related offences stemming from alleged events that took place in Seaforth in the ’90s. The statement of claim said these charges stem from the plaintiff’s allegations.

In late July, police laid an additional charge of indecent assault over allegations stemming from events that took place in Seaforth in the 1970s.

Doig has been released from custody is set to appear in a Goderich courthouse on Sept. 28, according to police.

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