WARNING: This story depicts alleged incidents of sexual assault that may be triggering for some readers.
An Ontario children’s camp and its longtime director are being sued by a former student and a former staff member who allege they were both sexually assaulted by the Kilcoo camp director on separate occasions more than a decade ago.
Two lawsuits, filed in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Bracebridge, Ontario, on July 27, accuse David Latimer, 61, of grooming, manipulation, and sexual misconduct against a pre-teen student camper in the early 1990s. 1990s and a young adult staff member starting in the 2000s.
Both lawsuits allege that Latimer manipulated the plaintiffs into thinking they were romantically involved with him before or after he allegedly assaulted them.
Latimer denied the allegations in a statement sent to CBC Toronto by his lawyer. None of the accusations have been proven in court. No defense statements have been filed thus far.
The lawsuits, which were first reported by the Toronto Star, seek a minimum of $5.5 million in damages from Latimer and Kilcoo Camp, which is accused of failing to protect the two plaintiffs.
Kilcoo Camp, located approximately 180 kilometers northeast of Toronto on the shores of Gull Lake near Minden, Ontario, operates primarily a private summer camp for children ages 8-16. It also offers outdoor educational programs for public and high school students. throughout the year.
Latimer worked as the camp’s director from 1985, according to his website, until he recently resigned in response to the lawsuits.
Scott Hutchison, Latimer’s attorney, provided a statement to CBC Toronto on behalf of his client.
“Allegations that suggest I hurt anyone associated with the camp or anywhere else are simply not true. I would never do anything to hurt any youth,” Latimer’s statement read.
Latimer’s statement says he “chose to walk away” from Kilcoo until the litigation is resolved.
Hutchison added that Latimer denies any wrongdoing and will defend the allegations in court.
In an emailed statement, Kilcoo Camp acknowledged that it had received two claim statements, but said that “while the claim names the camp, these troubling allegations only involve the actions of the former principal.”
Kilcoo Camp said he “immediately” made leadership changes upon learning of a potential claim, and that Latimer is no longer involved in any way with the organization.
“We will cooperate with any investigation. The safety of our campers and staff is always our top priority,” the camp said.
The first plaintiff alleges assault in the garage
Both plaintiffs have asked the court to issue an order against the publication of their names. His lawyer, Gillian Hnatiw, declined to comment.
The first statement of lawsuit, filed by a 39-year-old Toronto resident, identified only as J. Doe #1, states that they attended a week-long outdoor education program at Kilcoo Camp two years in a row between 1990 and 1993.
During that time, Latimer “developed a close relationship” with them, paying them special attention, giving them a special nickname and buying them gifts, the claim alleges.
“Latimer’s attention made J. Doe #1 feel special and valued, and they began to view Latimer as someone they could trust,” the lawsuit states.
Towards the end of the first trip, according to the lawsuit, Latimer drove J. Doe #1 in a golf cart through the campground to a nearby lake house and directed them to the garage.
“While in the garage, Latimer sexually assaulted J. Doe #1. Latimer pinned J. Doe #1 against the wall pinning them with his body. Latimer kissed J. Doe #1 on the lips and neck and touched his body with his hands. , both above and below his shirt and pants. J. Doe #1 could feel Latimer’s genitals on his body. J. Doe #1 could not move or leave. The assault lasted approximately 5 minutes “says the statement of claim.
After the assault, Latimer “manipulated” J. Doe #1 into believing the two were in a romantic relationship, the claim alleges.
The claim says the sexual activities were not consensual and accuses Latimer of abusing his position of trust and authority.
The second applicant alleges a ‘series’ of assaults
The second statement of lawsuit was filed by a 33-year-old woman from Stouffville, Ontario, who first attended Kilcoo Camp for an outdoor educational program with her elementary school sometime between 2001 and 2003 when she was between the ages of 12 and 14. years.
During that visit, Latimer allegedly gave her a pet name and told her she was special.
When she returned to the camp as a 19-year-old staff member in 2009, Latimer allegedly assaulted her by placing his hands on her hips and pushing his body against hers, according to the lawsuit.
“At the time, Latimer was in his late 40s, while J. Doe was approximately 19 years old,” the claim statement reads.
“Thereafter, Latimer engaged in an egregious course of conduct towards J. Doe #2, in which he was subjected to a series of sexual assaults under the guise of a spiritual and romantic relationship. The assaults took place in various locations both inside and outside the country. outside of Kilcoo Camp property, including, but not limited to, Latimer’s cabin, house and car, J. Doe’s cabin #2, and Latimer’s office at Greenwood College School.”
The lawsuit alleges that J. Doe #2, who worked at the camp annually until she was 23, was the subject of sexually explicit phone calls and text messages, pornographic videos, fondling on her body and that Latimer masturbated in front of her.
The consent must be active and continuous; submission is not equal to consent.– J. Doe’s Statement of Claim #2
She also alleges that Latimer made sexually inappropriate comments about her body, saying her lips were “perfect for a blowjob” and frequently calling her “the sexiest camp girl ever.”
Latimer allegedly used gifts, including concert tickets, weekend trips, massages and lingerie, to “reward” J. Doe #2 for complying with his sexual demands and keeping the abuse a secret, the lawsuit claims.
“J. Doe #2 did not consent to any of Latimer’s sexual advances, which was a clear violation of his power, trust, and authority,” the lawsuit states.
“Consent must be active and ongoing; submission does not equate to consent.”
Both lawsuits say Latimer resigned earlier this year as director of community life at Greenwood College School, a private middle and high school in Toronto, “following rumors that he violated boundaries with minor students.”
Latimer’s statement did not specifically address this allegation.
“We are deeply concerned by the allegations in the claim statements involving former Greenwood staffer David Latimer and Kilcoo Camp,” Greenwood deputy principal Heather Thomas said in an emailed statement.
“We are communicating directly with our school community and will continue to keep parents, students, staff, and alumni informed. As this matter is before the courts, we will not be providing further public comment.”
Camp appoints new director
In its statement, Kilcoo Camp said it had appointed Aldrin Primaylon as camp manager. The statement said that Primaylon has held a senior position in the camp for many years.
“Mr. Primaylon will have the support of the rest of the Kilcoo Camp team, who are committed to caring for the campers and ensuring a safe, supportive and enriching summer,” the statement said.
“The allegations are not tied to the current operations of the summer camp. As a result, at this time the camp is operating at full capacity and our focus is on the campers.”
An Ontario Provincial Police spokesman declined to comment on Wednesday whether the force had received any reports containing these allegations.
“I can say that we take investigations of this nature very seriously, and the OPP remains committed to ensuring a complete and thorough review of all information that may be reported,” Erin Cranton wrote in an email.
Support is available to anyone who has been sexually assaulted. You can access crisis lines and local support services through this Canadian government website or the Partnership to End Violence of Canada Database. If you are in immediate danger or fear for your safety or the safety of those around you, call 911.