Response to Recent Judgment in Hayes v. City of St. John

PR Newswire [New York, NY]

September 29, 2022

By Koskie Minsky LLP

The many survivors of convicted pedophile, Kenneth Estabrooks’ horrendous sexual abuse are deeply saddened and hurt by the recent decision not to hold anyone liable for decades of sexual abuse of vulnerable children by a Saint John Police officer. Estabrooks was a Saint John City police officer for over two decades.

The evidence at trial was unequivocal and uncontested that he used a City of Saint John police car to kidnap young children. He used a City of Saint John police-issued gun to threaten them and their families. He used City of Saint John police-issued handcuffs to restrain the young children while he raped them.

Class Counsel advised they will immediately launch an appeal to the New Brunswick Court of Appeal on behalf of the class.

John McKiggan, co-lead counsel said: “This is the most devastating decision I have seen in 32 years. The city employed Kenneth Estabrooks. The City gave him his uniform. The City issued him his gun. The City owned the vehicle he used to pick up children and sexually assault them. I believe the law has evolved to recognize that the aura of authority Kenneth Estabrooks was given as a police officer also placed obligations on the City”.

The court’s decision is premised on extremely outdated legal concepts. Society has evolved. The purpose of the law is to evolve as well. Now, more than ever before, Canadians understand the importance of protecting child victims of sexual assault. Canadians also understand the importance of holding powerful institutions accountable. Our Courts must recognize these truths as well.

For further information: please contact Adam Tanel, 416-595-2072