|Our Place Boss Tysick Hit with Second Lawsuit
November 13, 2008
A second allegation of sexual abuse has surfaced against Rev. Allen Tysick, the Victoria street preacher and executive director of Our Place.
Collett Tracey, 45, of Ottawa, has filed a statement of claim against Tysick and the United Church of Canada.
The civil suit, which has not yet been heard in court, alleges Tysick used his position as a youth leader at Woodroffe, a church-sponsored centre in Ottawa, to coerce her into a sexual relationship starting in 1978, when Tracey was 15. Tracey is now an English professor at Carleton University.
In her statement, filed Tuesday in Ontario Superior Court, she claims Tysick “used his position as her pastor, emotional, religious and spiritual advisor and mentor to facilitate his continued sexual exploitation of her.”
The allegations say the sexual touching and oral sex continued until 1981, when Tysick was ordained as a United Church minister and Tracey started university.
The claim seeks $2.1 million in damages from Tysick and $600,000 from the United Church. It says Tracey only recently came “to fully understand and appreciate the harm” the alleged abuse caused her.
She has been unable to have healthy relationships, has struggled to stay employed, and suffers “serious and ongoing psychological, emotional, religious and spiritual injuries,” it says.
Tysick, now 61, said his lawyer has told him to not comment on the allegations.
“I’d love to be able to give you a comment, I just can’t,” he said, adding he expects the court process to drag out for some time.
In March 2007, Jean Perkins, 46 and also from Ottawa, filed suit against Tysick and the United Church seeking a total of $1 million in damages. Perkins’s suit, which has not been resolved, alleged that counselling sessions with Tysick in the early 1990s escalated to sexual touching that continued for two years.
At the time, Tysick called those allegations false. None of the allegations have been proven in court.
Under Ontario law, Tysick and the church have 21 days after receiving a statement of claim to file their defence.
Tysick has not been charged with any criminal wrongdoing in either case.
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