The allegations a female student made against her teacher — rape, torture, waterboarding — could have been pulled straight from the scripts of TV's Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
And, as it turned out, a B.C. arbitrator concluded they were.
|Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada|
"Should the teacher be believed, the student is a very troubled person."
Now the teacher, Donald Barber, has identified himself in a B.C. Supreme Court lawsuit which cites McEwen's ruling.
Barber is suing Marli Rusen, the lawyer hired by the Nanaimo school district to investigate the teen's claims.
SVU sex claim
In his suit, Barber says he was subjected to "ridicule, hatred and contempt" as a result of a report Rusen provided the district. Rusen claimed in her report Barber had "engaged in significant sexual, physical and sexual misconduct over a number of years."
The bizarre allegations are spelled out in his lawsuit and the arbitration.
According to Barber's suit, the student accused him in 2012 of assaulting her from Grade 5 to Grade 8. The RCMP arrested him, but the Crown declined to approve charges.
Barber, who previously had a spotless disciplinary record, was fired in March 2013.
|This drawing from a student's diary was |
submitted to an arbitration hearing that
found a teacher was falsely accused
of sexual assault
According to the arbitration, the student claimed the teacher stuck knives and branches in her vagina, waterboarded and electrocuted her, and nearly suffocated her through burial.
But despite the "horrific" allegations, McEwan noted in her report the student was "never once attended an emergency clinic, hospital or walk-in clinic to treat her injuries."
"Nor did her attentive parents notice a thing — not the torn clothing, the burns; neither the bleeding to the extent that blood dripped into the swimming pool, nor her midnight foray. Not the filth from being buried or being soaked wet from waterboarding. Nothing. How likely is it that she could suffer the indignities she says she did and then go home for dinner and homework?"
According to the arbitration, the girl produced a diary six weeks after police told her, in October 2012, they were dropping the case against Barber because of a "lack of hard evidence."
The diary included numerous entries along with a sketch of a badge the student claimed was worn by a police officer who allegedly raped her at the teacher's house.
SVU sex claim
But the president of the teachers' union local testified at the arbitration hearing that a search of the internet revealed all the scenarios the student described came from episodes of the long-running TV drama Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
The description of the badge also matched one worn by a Dallas police officer in the show.
"It appears that the internet and media provided the student with everything she needed to construct a case that resulted in two years of unimaginable hardship to the teacher," McEwen concluded.
"The similarities between the plot-lines of her favourite shows and reading materials, and her allegations, are numerous and profound."
|This picture of a badge drawn by a |
student was submitted to an arbitration
hearing which concluded a teacher
was falsely accused of sexual assault.
Rusen's office said she could not comment on the lawsuit.
According to her website, Rusen has "years of extensive experience as a labour, employment and human rights lawyer to her current work as a third-party educator and problem-solver."
The site says Rusen is "routinely retained by many private and public sector employers to investigate allegations of significant human rights, harassment and disciplinary violations."
None of Barber's allegations have been proven in court.