SASKATOON – A $10-million civil lawsuit for malicious prosecution involving plaintiffs who were wrongly accused of child sexual abuse continues after a judge in Saskatoon ruled that all but two claims will proceed. A claim against former head of prosecutions, Richard Quinney, and a claim for false imprisonment have been thrown out. Quinney died earlier this year.
There were tears of joy in the courtroom when the plaintiffs heard the rest of their claims are still proceeding.
The defendants, including Saskatoon police Supt. Brian Dueck, a therapist and two Crown prosecutors, had argued there was not enough evidence to prove they acted with malice, but the judge disagreed.
The twelve plaintiffs were arrested in 1991 after three foster children said they had been forced to engage in sexual acts, drink blood, eat eyeballs and watch newborns be killed and buried.
Pam Shetterly is among the plaintiffs and she says Monday’s ruling gives her renewed hope that she will see justice.
“That we can walk down the streets with our heads held high knowing that we are citizens of this community and we are considered innocent,” says Shetterly. “We didn’t have that opportunity 13 years ago.”
The trial continues this week. The lawyer for a Saskatoon police officer is expected to present evidence first. Defence lawyers have already said if anyone is called to testify it will only be the defendants.