A Calgary man who played minor hockey in Abbotsford when he was a teen has filed a notice of civil claim in BC Supreme Court, seeking damages for alleged sexual abuse by his assistant coach.
Robert Callan, 42, claims that Donald Cooke – an RCMP officer now living in Toronto – sexually assaulted him between 1982 to 1984 when he was a member of an Abbotsford AAA midget hockey team. He was between 14 and 16 years old at the time.
Cooke has never been charged, although he was investigated by police in 2004 after four B.C. men came forward, alleging that he sexually assaulted them at the time they were playing minor hockey in the 1980s.
Crown counsel concluded there was not enough evidence to charge him. Cooke, meanwhile, filed his own lawsuit in Ontario last year against the RCMP, claiming mistreatment by the force over the allegations and the investigation, and seeking $13.5 million in compensation.
Cooke’s statement of claim said false allegations of sexual abuse were made by four individuals whom he kicked off the hockey team because they were in possession of stolen equipment.
Callan’s civil claim is the second filed against Cooke for alleged sexual abuse while he was stationed in Abbotsford from February 1982 to August 1986.
The first, from Graeme Wilson, was filed in July 2005 and is still before the courts. Wilson was not a hockey player, but was arrested by Cooke in connection to an arson investigation at his family’s residence. He was questioned and released without charge.
He alleged that Cooke offered to drop criminal charges against him in exchange for sexual favours between 1983 and 1986.
Callan’s claim names as defendants Cooke, the Attorney General of Canada, the RCMP and the Abbotsford Minor Hockey Association, which was known as the Abbotsford Matsqui MHA at the time.
Wilson’s claim names the the Attorney Generals of B.C. and Canada.
Both men state that the alleged abuse led to pain and suffering that includes depression, sleep problems, post traumatic stress disorder and chronic anger.
Both claims state that the men have “sustained a loss of employment and earnings and economic opportunity” and have faced ongoing costs for counselling, medication and other expenses.
None of the allegations has been proved in court.
In his statement of defence in response to Wilson’s claim, Cooke denied all the allegations. In his lawsuit against the RCMP, references are made to separate polygraph tests that he took regarding the accusations made by Callan and Wilson.
The polygrapher concluded that Cooke was “conclusively telling the truth” in both cases when he stated the allegations were untrue, according to the statement of claim.