Pastor’s former pupil files $1.5 M abuse lawsuit

John Milonas was just 12 years old when he was assaulted, abused and humiliated by his pastor and teacher, Royden Wood. The London (Ontario) man, now 38, announced at a news conference Tuesday he has launched a $1.5-million lawsuit against Wood and the defunct Ambassador Baptist Church.

The London Free Press reports

In the mid-1980s, Milonas attended an alternative school run by the church.

At Wood’s criminal trial in 2008, court heard that Milonas and two other boys, Richard Howell and Norman Howell, were singled out from the other students and subjected to Wood’s “behaviour-modification” methods, which included pulling hairs out of their upper lips with pliers, punching them in the stomach and making them stand at attention for hours at a time.

Milonas is represented by London lawyer Phillip Millar. Richard and Norman Howell are not plantiffs in the lawsuit, but Millar said they’ll be included in the future. […]

In 2008, Wood was sentenced to 11 months in jail after he was convicted of assaulting the boys and sexually assaulting two female church members.

Millar said Wood later filed an appeal of his conviction. He said he’s still trying to determine the status of Wood’s appeal.

Millar said Wood and his wife live in a vacation property near Gravenhurst.

The Ambassador Baptist Church, at King and Adelaide streets, was closed in 2007.

Millar said it’s unlikely anything can be collected from the defunct church, but Wood and his wife have assets.


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This post was last updated: Thursday, October 20, 2011 at 7:12 AM, Central European Time (CET)