Nova Scotia

Ex-community centre leader charged with sex crime

Halifax police have charged a former head of Veith House in an alleged sexual assault on a boy 40 years ago.

Halifax police have charged a former head of Veith House in an alleged sexual assault on a boy 40 years ago.

Ernest Wayne Rafuse, 66, ran Veith House during its early years as a community centre, after it ceased to be an orphanage.

The complainant, a 52-year-old man who lives in Calgary, says he took part in an after-school program when he was about 10 years old. He says Rafuse was popular with children and trusted by their parents.

The man claims he was sexually abused during a group overnight trip to Rafuse's trailer in the woods off Old Sambro Road.

He contacted police last year.

"It seems to be moving too slow only because I kept it in so long and dealt with it," said the man, whose identity is shielded from publication. "Well, I didn't deal with it. I just let it sit inside of me and fester like a boil."

Const. Brian Palmeter, spokesman for Halifax Regional Police, says it took months to check into allegations from the late 1960s and early 1970s.

"In this case the officers were able to complete enough of an investigation that led to the charges and the arrest," Palmeter said.

Rafuse is due in court next month to face two counts of indecent assault and two counts of gross indecency.

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