Woman seeks $700Gs from church
Toronto Sun (Canada), Sep. 25, 2002
By IAN MCDOUGALL, TORONTO SUN
A woman who has launched a $700,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses fled the courtroom in tears yesterday during final arguments by the defence.
The woman alleges the church was negligent in its handling of the sex abuse she suffered from her father between the ages of 11 and 14 in the family home in Shelburne, about 100 km northwest of Toronto, during the early 1980s.
Church lawyer Colin Stevenson was challenging the woman’s first-day testimony on the stand when she began crying.
“If you don’t accept (the woman’s) recollection you end up in a situation where you have to question seriously all her recollections,” he said.
Stevenson went on to question the reason for the woman waiting until 1998 before she filed the suit when the church-related events happened in 1989 and left courtroom.
The sex assault by her father happened between 1981 and 1985, court heard. “The time this is happening is not the day before,” Stevenson said. “It was three or four years earlier. She’s an adult, she’s not living at home. She’s living 100 km away.”
The woman then got up from her chair next to lawyer Charles Mark and left the courtroom.
Stevenson also argued the woman waited too long before launching her suit and did not have a legitimate claim to damages.