Ashbury College sued over alleged sex assault
An Ottawa private school is being sued after a student was allegedly sexually assaulted on a school trip in 2007.
Three Ashbury College students, as well as the school's headmaster and four teachers, have been named in the statement of claim, filed in Ontario Superior Court on Friday.
The claim is that a student — identified only as J.W.1 — was attacked by four male students in his hotel room, while on a school trip to Boston in November 2007.
According to the statement of claim, two students allegedly pinned J.W.1 to his bed, while another sexually assaulted him and a fourth allegedly videotaped the attack.
The allegations have not been proven in court.
Lawyer Allan O'Brien said the parents of the victim were outraged that Ashbury officials didn't call the Boston police after the incident. Instead, O'Brien alleged, Ashbury teachers put two of the students on a flight back to Ottawa, with the recording of the attack still on their computer.
"The family believes that Ashbury conducted itself in a manner to preserve its own good reputation, rather than dealing with the victim appropriately," O'Brien said.
O'Brien said his clients have never received an explanation or an apology from the school and are seeking $100,000 in damages.
'Appropriate' disciplinary action
In a prepared statement, Ashbury headmaster Tam Matthews said the co-ed school took appropriate disciplinary action.
"The school has thoroughly investigated the affair, taken disciplinary action where appropriate, and co-operated with the authorities," Matthews said. "It fully supports the actions of the teachers on the trip."
Matthews added that the school regrets the outcome for the victim and his family but will vigorously defend the lawsuit.
Last July, police in Massachusetts charged two Ottawa teenagers with indecent assault. That case is still pending.