B.C. man alleges ’50s priest sex abuse in Hope

Vancouver Is Awesome [Vancouver BC, Canada]

July 12, 2023

By Jeremy Hainsworth

Vancouver archbishop responsible for the governance of Hope Catholic Church and priest, lawsuit says.

A B.C. man alleges a Roman Catholic priest gained his trust and that of his family to sexually assault him while growing up in Hope.

In a notice of civil claim filed in B.C. Supreme Court July 6, Harold Lock names the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Vancouver as the defendant, naming his alleged abuser only as Father Guymand.

The claim said the archbishop of Vancouver as a religious institution was at all material times responsible for the governance of Hope Catholic Church.

Court documents allege starting in or about 1954-1956, Guymand used his position of power granted by the defendant to prey upon and sexually assault the plaintiff.

“In order to facilitate abuses, the perpetrator engaged in a pattern of behaviour which was intended to make the plaintiff feel that it was unsafe to report the wrongdoings of the perpetrator,” the claim said.

It asserted Guymand willfully and/or negligently inflicted pain and suffering, mental suffering, humiliation, and degradation upon Lock and “sexually assaulted the plaintiff and interfered with the plaintiff’s normal childhood and future relationships solely for the purpose of his own gratification.”

The claim said the defendant had a duty to protect Lock, and that Guymand allegedly took advantage of Lock under the guise of conducting the activities of a religious leader.

The lawsuit claims the church was negligent in failing to supervise and investigate Guymand, who is not a party to the action. It argued the defendant failed to have a reporting system in place for such concerns, or counselling in place for the perpetrator.

Lock claims resulting damages, including: physical pain, post-traumatic stress disorder, mental anguish, nervous shock, humiliation, degradation, shame, guilt, low self-esteem, and feelings of worthlessness, depression, anxiety, psychological injuries, addiction, sexual dysfunction, insomnia, mistrust of authority figures and men and nightmares and/or night terrors.

Lock is seeking general, specific, aggravated and punitive damages.

The archbishop has not responded to a request for comment.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.