Man Raped By Inmates During ‘Scared Straight’ Prison Tour Gets $175K Settlement

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A 54-year-old man referred to by the initials B.E.S. in court documents has been awarded a $175,000 settlement to be paid by the B.C. government after being assaulted and raped by several different inmates while touring the Oakalla Prison four decades ago as part of a “scared straight” program.

According to CBC, a “scared straight” prison tour was part of the teenager’s probation for breaking and entering. The program was intended to scare teenagers away from future crimes by showing them what being behind bars was like.

Earlier this year, B.E.S. went before the B.C. Supreme Court to tell his story of what happened during that prison tour all those years ago.

According to his testimony, he was “grabbed” by a prison guard after arriving at Oakalla. He was taken to a cell where a group of several inmates were waiting for him. The men proceeded to assault him. They allegedly tried to force him to perform oral sex and each inmate took turns raping him, per the court documents.

He recalled the prison guard standing in the doorway laughing while he was sexually assaulted by several inmates. When the assault concluded, he recalled the guard pushing him up against the wall and saying, “That’s what happens to little f***ers like you.”

Justice Jennifer Duncan handed down a judgment earlier this week that found B.E.S. had been sexually assaulted by several inmates as the result of the unidentified prison guard

“The province is vicariously liable for the actions of the unknown officer,” Duncan wrote in the settlement awarding B.E.S. $150,000 for damages and another $25,000 for legal costs and future care expenses.

“The sexual assault of B.E.S. was a single event, but it was brutal, and I accept that it continues to have an impact on his day-to-day functioning well into adulthood,” the judge added.

The judge clarified the amount of the settlement could be increased when special and punitive damages are determined at a future court date that has not been scheduled as of yet.

While B.E.S. also named Roderick David MacDougall as the guard responsible for allowing the attack to take place, there was little evidence offered to confirm such.

“It is apparent that B.E.S. became aware of Mr. MacDougall through a counsellor he was seeing. B.E.S. candidly agreed that he ‘assumed’ Mr. MacDougall was the escort officer, based on information from his counsellor,” Duncan wrote in her judgment.

The judgment also revealed B.E.S. reportedly had a “normal and happy childhood” before the assault.

B.E.S. was driven home by a female probational officer after the tour. She was not aware of the attack and the teenager did not mention it. While he recalled being in pain and bleeding for at least a week following the attack, he didn’t tell anyone close to him what happened. Following the attack, his relationship with everyone close to him became strained.

B.E.S. has suffered from several medical issues including PTSD, depression, personality disorder, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and a cocaine addiction.

The Oakalla Prison where the attack took place closed their doors a few decades later in 1991. The prison was demolished to make room for a housing development.