Notifications

Wrongfully imprisoned B.C. man denies allegations of sexual assault in civil lawsuit

Ivan Henry, a B.C. man awarded millions for wrongful imprisonment, is now defending himself in a civil lawsuit that alleges he sexually assaulted five women.

Ivan Henry was convicted on 10 counts of sexual assault in 1983 and spent 27 years in prison

Ivan Henry, seen in 2010, after he was acquitted and released from prison. (CBC)

A B.C. man awarded millions for wrongful imprisonment is now defending himself in a civil lawsuit that alleges he sexually assaulted five women.

The women, identified only as Jane Doe No. 1 through No. 5, filed the lawsuit in B.C. Supreme Court in October, alleging Ivan Henry broke into their homes in the 1980s and sexually assaulted them.

Their lawsuit says Henry caused them emotional suffering and psychological damage.

Henry was convicted on 10 counts of sexual assault in 1983 and spent 27 years in prison before he was freed.

His conviction was overturned in 2010 when a B.C. Appeal Court judge found flaws in both the trial and police investigation.

In his response to the lawsuit, Henry says he did not commit the sexual assaults and denies the allegations.

His response also says the women have failed to support the material facts in the lawsuit because they do not identify themselves.

Henry has asked the court to dismiss the case and require the women to pay special costs.

His response, filed Nov. 10, says the costs are justified because the lawsuit alleges criminal acts and serious misconduct.

Henry sued the government over his wrongful imprisonment and was awarded $8 million in damages from the province.

Last month, the B.C. Court of Appeal ruled the province would not have to pay the full amount because Henry also settled out of court with the City of Vancouver and the federal government for $5.1 million.

An appeal court panel determined that requiring the province to pay the entire $8 million settlement on top of the $5.1 million would have constituted double recovery for Henry.

The women's lawsuit asks that Henry be denied the money he was awarded for wrongful imprisonment, alleging he had been "unjustly enriched." It also asks for a damage award.

Henry denies the claims.

"Further, the defendant was not unjustly enriched, did not 'profit' from the sexual assaults and did not commit them," the response says.