Cesar Lalo victim calls for Nova Scotia government to settle suit
Lalo, sentenced as a long-term offender, served 9 years in prison
A victim of one of Nova Scotia's most notorious sex offenders is calling on the provincial government to settle with the survivors.
The offender is Cesar Lalo, who abused more than two dozen boys when he worked as a probation and parole officer for the provincial government. He was eventually convicted on 34 charges relating to incidents in the 1970s and 1980s.
Lalo, who was sentenced as a long-term offender, served nine years in prison and has spent several years under the supervision of a probation officer since his release.
The Crown did not prosecute all the cases against Lalo, stopping after they had enough convictions to get the long-term offender designation.
One of the victims whose case was never prosecuted says he's frustrated by the process.
"I came into the clutches of Cesar Lalo back in 1975 when I was a young, 11-year-old boy," said Bruce. His name has been changed to protect his identity.
"I was caught for shoplifting and I was sentenced to six months probation with Cesar Lalo, back in 1975."
'It's just like being revictimized all over again'
Bruce said every time he went to a meeting with Lalo during that six-month period, he was abused. He said Lalo threatened him to prevent him from telling anyone.
"It was pretty bad. You'd go home, you couldn't tell your parents because you were scared because he'd threaten to send you to Shelburne," Bruce said. Shelburne was the provincial youth jail for boys at the time. Its reputation was sufficient to scare many young offenders.
In 1996, Bruce launched a lawsuit against the provincial government — and he's not alone. Several lawsuits have been launched and two victims have won court settlements. Others have managed to negotiate settlements without going to court.
Bruce said his lawsuit has stalled and he's getting frustrated.
"It's just like being revictimized all over again by the province," he said.
Bruce sees a glimmer of hope with the current government. He points to the settlement Premier Stephen McNeil's government reached with abuse survivors of the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children.
"I looked at that and I said to myself, 'If the premier can settle with the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children, why can't the premier settle with the victims of Cesar Lalo?'" he said.
Bruce has so far been unsuccessful in getting a meeting with McNeil to discuss his case.
"My perpetrator's been sentenced, done his time, he's out of jail and he's gone on with his life," he said. "Us victims are still waiting to get on with our lives."