Victims outraged at acquittal of Fenwick MacIntosh
Published Friday, December 9, 2011 6:41PM AST
Three men who reported sexual abuse at the hands of former Cape Breton businessman Fenwick MacIntosh are speaking out after his convictions were overturned yesterday.
MacIntosh was found guilty of sexually abusing teenage boys dating back to the 1970s but the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal found that he was not brought to trial in a reasonable time after he was extradited from India in 2007 to face the charges that surfaced in 1995.
One of his victims says he is angry at the decision and feels re-victimized by the court.
"It is bad enough being victimized by a person, but being victimized again by the justice system? It's not a very good feeling," says the 56-year-old man, whose identity is protected by a court-ordered publication ban.
The man, who we will address as "Tom," testified that he was molested as a child and his testimony helped to convict MacIntosh on multiple counts of sexual assault.
"Tom" says he still carries the scars from what he says were repeated incidents of sexual assault more than 40 years ago.
He says he suffers from depression and has dealt with two failed marriages. Now the acquittal has left "Tom" questioning whether he should have ever filed a complaint against MacIntosh in the first place.
"You have to be so precise and so detailed on everything that was done to you," he says. "And then to have it thrown out? It doesn't make any sense."
The case against MacIntosh was started more than 15 years ago by another victim, who says he was assaulted by MacIntosh more than 100 times.
The 50-year-old man, who we'll call "George," says he is frustrated that his long battle for justice has been lost on a legal technicality.
"Myself and the other victims stood up to the plate and tried to put a stop to this guy molesting a bunch of little children, not only in Canada but overseas," he says. "It took many, many years. Our system let everyone down."
A third accuser named "Ralph" says he too is "devastated" by the decision.
"It was just the worst news I could get about this case, considering how far it goes back," he says. "Thirty-eight years ago when the abuse happened, 17 years ago when I gave my first statement, then two to four times in court."
Meanwhile, "Tom" says he is planning a public rally to be held next month so he can raise awareness about the sexual abuse of children. He also wants a publication ban on his identity to be lifted so he can champion a cause he says has been let down by the legal system.
"Tom" says that he and the two other victims CTV News spoke with have all kept in touch since the MacIntosh trials began, and that now they share an even stronger bond in their shared disappointment that MacIntosh has walked free.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Randy MacDonald