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$80,000 Punitives Awarded against Sex Offending Canadian Guard

A former Canadian prison guard sexually assaulted countless prisoners.
Eight of his victims were awarded $10,000 in punitive damages, each.

Roderick David MacDougall was a British Columbia prison guard from 1976 to
1997. He worked as a classification officer during most of his career. In
that capacity, he coerced young mainly teenaged prisoners to submit to
sexual assaults, including oral sex and masturbation. He told them they
would be protected from harm in the prison by submitting to his sexual

Prisoners began complaining in 1996 and in June, 1997, MacDougall resigned
from his job. He was convicted in 2000 of sexual assault with indecent
assault or extortion against five prisoners. He was sentenced to prison and
paroled in August, 2003.

Eight other prisoners brought suit against MacDougall and the provincial
government. Each testified that MacDougall's assaults had devastating
impacts on their lives, from heavy use of alcohol and drugs and continued
criminal lifestyles to questioning their own sexual orientations. The
court found that defendant's conduct is made all the more egregious
because of the power that he was able to exert over the plaintiffs as a
result of his position of authority and their vulnerable positions. The
court noted that one lawyer represents 30 plaintiffs and that number is

The provincial government settled claims of general damages. Each
plaintiff sought punitive damages of $25,000 from MacDougall. The court
reduced the amount to $10,000 each, explaining that punitive damages are
to be awarded as punishment, to denounce and deter, and not for the
purpose of providing compensation to the plaintiffs. MacDougall did not
appear in the case.

Source: Burnaby Newsleader

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