Man who killed elderly couple and bartender has appeal rejected by Supreme Court
Jesse Imeson claimed he had been sexually abused at a Windsor home for youth
The Supreme Court of Canada has rejected an attempt by triple-murderer Jesse Imeson to appeal a lower court decision that called into question claims that childhood sexual abuse contributed to his lethal behaviour as an adult.
Imeson was found guilty of killing three people in Southwestern Ontario in the summer of 2007.
On July 19, he strangled 25-year-old Carlos Rivera, a Windsor bartender. Four days later the bodies of Bill and Helene Regier, who had been shot to death, were found in their farmhouse near Grand Bend, northwest of London.
In October 2008, Imeson, then 23, pleaded guilty to three counts of second-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years.
While in prison in 2009, Imeson alleged that he had been sexually assaulted by Tony "Doe", a former child and youth worker with Maryvale Adolescent and Family Services in Windsor.
In 1996-1997, Imeson spent a few months at the residential institution, which cares for troubled youth.
He also alleged that about a year after leaving Maryvale and while in foster care, he was sexually abused by Father Howarth, a now deceased priest of the Roman Catholic Diocese of London.
In September, 2016, a jury found Maryvale vicariously liable for sexual assaults allegedly committed against Imeson by "Doe".
Chronology leading to SCC decision
The jury did not accept Imeson's claim that he was also sexually abused by the deceased priest, and the action against the Roman Catholic Diocese of London was dismissed.
During that trial, Imeson sought to call Dr. Kerry Smith, a mental health clinician employed in the British Columbia prison system who had seen and counselled Imeson over a long series of therapeutic sessions.
Lawyers for Maryvale tried to block Dr. Smith's evidence on the grounds that he lacked the necessary training and expertise to give an opinion on childhood sexual abuse. But the trial judge ruled Smith was qualified to provide "expert opinion with respect to certain issues."
The Ontario Court of Appeal ruled in 2018 that Smith's opinions did not qualify as expert evidence and that the trial judge erred by allowing it to be heard.
As a result, the court ordered a new civil trial between Imeson and Maryvale.
Imeson's attempt to appeal that ruling was rejected Thursday by the Supreme Court of Canada. The high court gave no reason for its decision, as is standard practice.