The boy who made up fantastic stories of ritual sexual abuse against his former foster parents admitted in court Monday that he lied because he was mad at them.
“I was angry. That’s why I started telling stories and stuff,” Michael Ross testified Monday during the malicious prosecution lawsuit filed by 12 adults once charged with sexually assaulting children.
Their charges were later dropped.
Their $10-million lawsuit against a Saskatoon police officer, a therapist, and various Justice Department officials is into its second week.
Michael Ross, now in his mid-20s, continues his testimony today.
Dale and Anita Klassen cared for Michael for three years beginning when he was eight years old, as well as for his younger twin sisters, Kathy and Michelle.
He was removed from the Klassen home because he was abusing his sisters and misbehaving in various other ways, court heard last week.
Michael was placed in the Warman home of Marilyn and Lyle Thompson.
“I was feeling abandoned by (the Klassens). I didn’t know what was going on,” he said.
“I didn’t like that at all. I thought a family was supposed to stick together.”
Shortly after arriving at his new home, Michael began telling the Thompsons about the “satanic ritual stuff” the Klassens and their relatives were doing to him.
The horrific allegations included the murder of animals and babies, and graphic descriptions of sex parties involving adults and children.
Michael also said his sisters were being abused by the Klassens. Shortly after making these allegations, the girls were removed from the Klassen home.
They were reunited with Michael in the Thompson household, and he continued to abuse them for three more years.
“I wanted them to come live with me (so) I said I felt they were unsafe at the Klassens’,” Michael testified.
“I didn’t care who I hurt.”
Michael testified that he was a victim of abuse, but not by the Klassens or anyone involved in the lawsuit.
His birth father abused him, he said. The Ross parents were alcoholics and often fought violently. One day, Michael said his sister found him under his parents’ bed bleeding from the bum.
“That’s when I started abusing my sisters. That carried on for many years,” Michael said.
Michael’s birth parents were convicted of sexual assault, but the convictions were overturned by the Supreme Court of Canada.
For the first four hours Monday, several 1990 videotaped interviews of Michael were played for the court.
An 11-year-old Michael fidgets almost constantly and puts his face against the camera several times.
“I’ll tell you everything!” he declares at the start of the session with Saskatoon Police Service Cpl. Brian Dueck and therapist Carol Bunko-Ruys.
Just like Michelle Ross did in the video interviews played last week in court, Michael uses dolls, knives, and other props to demonstrate the various allegations.
Near the beginning of the second video, Bunko-Ruys asks Michael why he is so tired, and what he was doing the previous night.
“Me and Michelle were s-c-r-e-w-i-n-g,” said Michael, spelling out the last word.
Bunko-Ruys says only that Michael will have to deal with his “touching problem.
“What did we say about touching Michelle?” Bunko-Ruys asks.
Michael says he’s trying to stop, but it’s hard. When this video was made, Michael had been reunited with Michelle and Kathy at the Thompson home.
Michael tells them he’s trying to be a better person.
“I have a little devil here. The angel is getting bigger and the devil’s getting smaller,” he says.
Dueck congratulates Michael for being “brave” enough to talk about the alleged abuse, and for saving his sisters.
Michelle Ross testified last week she felt safe at the Klassens’ home after Michael left, and didn’t want to be placed in the same home as Michael again.
She said he would cover her mouth so she wouldn’t scream and then assault her on many different occasions.
The trial is expected to run at least two more weeks.
Following this trial will be a countersuit for libel against plaintiff Richard Klassen, filed by Dueck, Bunko-Ruys, and the other defendants.
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