New investigation launched into decades-old child abuse case
Published Tuesday, August 21, 2012 12:05PM ADT
Last Updated Tuesday, August 21, 2012 7:07PM ADT
A new investigation has been launched into a decades-old case of child abuse by a former Saint John police officer.
Kenneth Estabrooks was convicted in the 1990s of sexually abusing children, connected to complaints dating back to the 1950s.
Estabrooks was quietly transferred over to the city works department in the 1970s but it wasn’t until the 1990s that new victims came forward.
A new complaint has recently surfaced from another alleged victim and the city of Saint John has hired a team of private investigators from Ontario to look into the case.
“We intend to thoroughly investigate this new complaint against Estabrooks and offer support to the victims,” says private investigator David Perry. “Offer support to any individual who may have been impacted by Ken Estabrooks and at the conclusion of the investigation, submit a confidential and detailed report to the city of Saint John.”
Estabrooks was convicted and sent to prison in 1999 and died six years later in 2005, but his legacy lives on for his victims.
“I try to put this behind me, even though it’s been 40 years,” says one of his victims. “It’s something that never goes away. You live with it day by day.”
Investigators aren’t certain how long the probe will take, but they are encouraging others who were molested by Estabrooks to come forward.
“There is no time limit on serious crimes. Five years old, 20 years old,” says Saint John Police commission member Chris Waldschutz. “If a serious crime has been committed and not satisfactorily put to bed, it should be put to bed.”
They also say counseling sessions will be offered to victims, though they would not comment on whether a compensation package would be made available.
“The city is committed to following up on this investigation,” says Saint John Mayor Mel Norton. “We want to do the right thing.”
With files from CTV Atlantic's Mike Cameron