09/23/2013 08:35 EDT | Updated 11/23/2013 05:12 EST

Furlong denies abuse allegations in statement of defence

Former VANOC CEO John Furlong has denied abusing two former students at a Burns Lake elementary school in a statement of defence filed in B.C. Supreme Court today.

Grace West and Beverly Abraham both claim to have been sexually and physically abused by Furlong while he was a physical education teacher in the Burns Lake area in late 1960s and early 1970s.

The two women filed a civil claim against Furlong in July, seeking compensation for the abuse and alleging defamation after he suggested at a press conference in September of last year that unnamed people were lying in an attempt to extort him.

In his statement of defence, Furlong claims he does not remember whether he taught either of the women, and that he did not molest or engage in inappropriate behaviour with either of them.

He also says that his statements at the press conference were truthful.

West and Abraham are also suing the Roman Catholic Archdiocese.