Ritual abuse charges suit uncovers more allegations

SASKATOON – Testimony began Monday in a $10 million lawsuit claiming malicious prosecution in a case that includes allegations of ritual child abuse that were never proven and later recanted.Twelve people were arrested in the so-called “foster families” child sex case originally filed nine years ago. Now the accused are finally having their day in court.

Richard Klassen and eleven other plaintiffs never got to defend themselves in criminal court, so they are forcing the issue by suing for damages in civil court.

Klassen is representing himself in his case against prosecutors, police and a child therapist. He wants to prove that he was victimized when the justice system ran off the rails.

“People were reckless, careless, malicious in laying these kinds of charges,” he said outside the courtroom.

One of the first witnesses to testify was a female plaintiff, who wants to remain anonymous. She testified that she first heard about the allegations against her from police the day they came to her home to place her under arrest.

It was the spring of 1991 when Corporal Brian Dueck and another officer told her she and several other members of her family would be charged with child sexual abuse.

She says that police did not ask her any questions about the children who had made the allegations, and even revealed to her that they believed she had also been abused by her own father. She testified Monday that she had no idea where the police got that notion, saying that she told them it was an impossible and ludicrous charge.

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Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Canada
Sep. 9, 2003

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