Nova Scotia

Lawsuit launched against sex offender Ernest Fenwick MacIntosh

A Nova Scotia man who had convictions for sexually abusing minors thrown out due to Charter violations is being sued by six complainants who say they suffered a lifetime of emotional harm from alleged sexual abuse inflicted on them by Ernest Fenwick MacIntosh.

'He has caused the plaintiffs to suffer severe physical and psychological harm that continues to this day'

Ernest Fenwick MacIntosh is escorted by police for a court appearance in Lalitpur, Nepal, on Feb. 5, 2015. He was charged and later convicted of sexually abusing a nine-year-old boy in a suburb of Kathmandu. (AFP/Getty Images)

A Nova Scotia man who had convictions for sexually abusing minors thrown out due to Charter violations is being sued by six complainants who say they suffered a lifetime of emotional harm from alleged sexual abuse inflicted on them by Ernest Fenwick MacIntosh.

The six complainants, all of whom are male and range in age from 56 to 64, say MacIntosh repeatedly sexually abused them in the early 1970s when they were children and lived in the Port Hawkesbury area.

MacIntosh was a prominent businessman and community leader who "abused his position of trust, social status, and wealth to repeatedly abuse the plaintiffs," said the statement of claim, which was filed on Dec. 23, 2019, in Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Port Hawkesbury.

"As a result of his sexual abuse, he has caused the plaintiffs to suffer severe physical and psychological harm that continues to this day."

Past convictions

MacIntosh was convicted of 17 sex-related charges involving three complainants who were boys at the time of the offences, during the 1970s. (Two of those complainants are involved in this lawsuit.)

MacIntosh's convictions were overturned on appeal because it took too long to bring him to trial, partly because he had to be extradited from India. In 2013, Canada's top court upheld a lower court ruling that threw out the 17 sexual abuse convictions against MacIntosh — who is now in his mid 70s — because of the delay.

In 2015, MacIntosh was sentenced to seven years in prison for molesting a boy in Nepal.

Last year, MacIntosh was released from jail and sent back to Canada, where he has been living in Montreal.

The six complainants say MacIntosh is liable for sexual battery, intentional infliction of mental injury and false imprisonment.

"The plaintiffs were young boys who feared for their safety while being trapped in the confined locations in which the abuse occurred, such as MacIntosh's room, a boat, hotel rooms, cars, and houses," said the statement of claim.

Damages sought

The complainants are each seeking general and aggravated damages in the amount of $300,000, special damages of an amount to be determined and punitive damages of $50,000.

None of the allegations has been proven in court.

MacIntosh has yet to file a defence.

In a statement, Daniel Naymark, one of the two lawyers representing the six complainants, said MacIntosh was served the papers at his Montreal home.

"MacIntosh now knows that his victims will not stay silent, and that he cannot avoid justice for his crimes forever," Naymark wrote. "We hope that the brave actions of these victims embolden other victims to hold their abusers to account."

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