A Winnipeg school division has been named in a lawsuit that alleges abuse at the hands of convicted sex offender and former hockey coach Graham James.
The plaintiff has filed a lawsuit against James and the St. James-Assiniboia School Division, alleging he was sexually abused when he was 10 years old at Strathmillan School while James was working for the school division as a substitute teacher in 1983.
In the lawsuit, the plaintiff says the abuse started in May of that year, when James would allegedly place his hand on the thighs of the plaintiff while pretending to lean over to look at his schoolwork.
During one incident, the lawsuit claims James put his hands up the plaintiff’s shorts, when a female teacher saw what was happening and threatened to report James.
Shortly after the incident, James and the plaintiff were called into the principal’s office, and when asked what happened, the plaintiff says in the lawsuit he was humiliated and afraid, and did not speak as James had instructed him to do.
The plaintiff is asking for more than $6 million in damages in the lawsuit, saying he was caused “general, aggravated and punitive damages for pain and suffering”.
The lawsuit says the school board knew or ought to have known that James was unqualified to teach and had been previously accused of sex crimes against minors, but hired him regardless.
As a result, the plaintiff says he has suffered a long list of issues including humiliation, post-traumatic stress and suicidal behaviour.
The school division tells Global News it’s unable to provide commentary on legal matters at this time.
None of the allegations in the statement of claim have been proven in court.
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