B.C. Priest Ordered to Pay $415,000 for Abusing Niece

By David Wylie
June 26, 2008

A once-esteemed B.C. Sikh priest and his wife have been ordered to pay their niece $415,000 after she was sexually abused for more than a decade while living on their farm.

In a civil judgment released Thursday, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Nancy Morrison found Karamjeet Kour Singh, 50, is still suffering from low self-esteem, depression, flashbacks and nightmares because of the years of abuse.

"The plaintiff's problems are many," she said. "First and foremost, she has suffered a loss of innocence and the loss of a normal childhood."

Retired Fraser Valley dairy farmer, Joginder Singh Bains, 77, began assaulting Singh - who now goes by the name Vicki Waters - when she was nine years old. The abuse included, oral and anal sex, as well as physical thrashings.

Meanwhile, Waters' aunt, Darshan Kaur Bains, was also found liable because she took no steps to stop the abuse, even though Waters had told her about it twice. Darshan collaborated to have an IUD, a form of birth control, inserted into Waters when she reached puberty - a move the judge concluded proved Darshan knew about the sexual abuse.

"The insertion of the IUD into an unknowing 12 or 13 year old is, as I have stated before, appalling," said Morrison.

"Both defendants played a significant part in her loses," said Morrison. "The young plaintiff was present in their home, slept in their bedroom and at times, in their bed with them, when sexual assaults took place."

The elderly Chilliwack couple, who were once active in the Liberal party, also were well-known members of the Sikh community. They took Waters in after her mother died in an accident.

Morrison gave little weight to the argument that the couple should not pay damages because they've "lost face or had to deal with condemnation within their community." She also dismissed the argument they were of "modest means," adding the couple's

Waters moved out of the house after graduating from high school.

She's now a married mother of two. And Morrison said the abuse she suffered as a child has damaged her family life.


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