Former Pitt Meadows city councillor David Murray is facing a lawsuit from his victim in a sex assault.
In 2017, Murray was found guilty of having sexually assaulting a teenager in 1992, and was sentenced to nine months in jail.
“The trajectory of my life was permanently altered the day he molested me,” said the plaintiff in a statement released by her lawyer. A ban on publication protects her identity.
“I will spend my life unraveling all of the ways the assault hurt me. He spent only four months in jail. That’s not justice. I am grateful that the criminal trial gave me an opportunity to say out loud what he did to me and lay it at his feet where it belongs, but it wasn’t justice served. The harm that he caused me wasn’t considered in his sentencing. In a civil suit, he’ll have to answer for the harm he caused.”
The notice of civil claim was filed in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver.
It says Murray groomed the plaintiff for weeks by buying her clothing and dinners. She was 13 or 14 years old, and got her first job at his sports memorabilia business, Tiger Sports in Port Coquitlam.
The Pitt Meadows resident complained to police in 2015. The claim says during the police investigation Murray hired a private investigator to follow and befriend the plaintiff, “gain her trust and infiltrate her personal life for approximately six to nine months, exacerbating the plaintiff’s psychological symptoms.”
The court ordered the recordings and transcripts made by Murray’s private investigator be destroyed.
The claim says the plaintiff suffered in numerous ways, including PTSD, depression, nightmares, suicide attempts, sexual dysfunction, addiction, and loss of enjoyment of life. Many of these injuries are ongoing, says the claim.
“In this case, a criminal conviction has already been obtained. The purpose of criminal prosecutions is to punish the offender. In a criminal action, the complainant is not a party to the action and is not represented. They really have no control of the process,” said the plaintiff’s lawyer Janelle O’Connor of Murphy Battista LLP.
“In contrast, the purpose of a civil proceeding is to provide compensation for the harm endured. In civil sexual abuse cases, damages are often awarded for pain and suffering, the cost of past or future care, and loss of income as a result of the abuse. My client has carried the psychological and financial burden of this abuse for way too many years.”
“Empowerment of the plaintiff is a huge advantage that the civil justice system has over the criminal justice system in sexual assault claims.”
Murray had been elected to city council in 2011. In his career, he had been secretary-treasurer of the CUPE Fraser Valley District Labour Council.
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