NEWS

John Furlong accuser was at different school, documents indicate

12/31/2014 04:48 EST | Updated 03/02/2015 05:59 EST
A man who is suing John Furlong for allegedly abusing him at a residential school decades ago may have been at a different school at the time of the alleged abuse, say lawyers representing the former CEO of the Vancouver Olympics.

According to British Columbia Supreme Court documents filed by Furlong's legal team, the man – who has asked not to be identified by the media – said in a residential school compensation claim that he had attended a different school in another B.C. community at the time Furlong was a teacher at Immaculata Roman Catholic School in Burns Lake in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

"[The claimant] we understand, filed a claim in relation to his attendance at a school called Lejac, which was in Fraser Lake," Furlong's lawyer, Claire Hunter, told the court earlier this month.

"He has sworn under oath ... that he attended Lejac during a period that covers the entire period he now claims he was in Immaculata."

The Roman Catholic Church operated the Lejac residential school, just west of Vanderhoof, between the 1920s and 1970s.

During sentencing in September on a provincial court matter in Smithers, B.C., the male claimant's lawyer said his client had recently received a settlement of $129,000 for his residential school abuse claim.

The man is one of three people who launched civil claims last year against Furlong in the wake of a Georgia Straight newspaper article alleging the former teacher had mistreated students in Burns Lake. The other two claimants are women – Grace West and Beverly Abraham, who did not ask for anonymity.

No record plaintiff attended school

The Roman Catholic diocese has said in court filings that no records exist showing West was a student at Immaculata during the time she alleges she was abused there by Furlong.

Abraham applied to have her case dismissed earlier this month saying the court process was a huge stress for her. A judge dismissed her claim without costs to either side.

Lawyer Jason Gratl represented all three of the original claimants, but has withdrawn from Abraham and West's suits, and has been approved for withdrawal from the male claimant's lawsuit.

Furlong has vehemently denied the abuse allegations contained in all three lawsuits and the Georgia Straight story. He is suing the author of the article, Laura Robinson, but dropped a claim against the weekly paper that published the article in September 2012.

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