PORT HAWKESBURY: A former Strait area businessman, who previously had convictions for sexually abusing minors thrown out due to Charter violations, is now being sued by six complainants who say they have endured a lifetime of emotional trauma from alleged sexual abuse.
The six complainants, all of whom are male and range in age from 56 to 64, say Ernest Fenwick MacIntosh repeatedly sexually abused them in the early 1970s when they were children living in the region.
In documents filed with the Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Port Hawkesbury on December 23, 2019 MacIntosh is described as a “prominent businessman and community leader who abused his position of trust, social status, and wealth to prey on and sexually abuse vulnerable young boys.”
The now 76-year-old MacIntosh was convicted of 17 sex-related charges, involving boys from the Strait area dating back to the 1970s, two of which are included in this lawsuit.
He was acquitted on all 17 charges by the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal because MacIntosh’s right to be tried within a reasonable time was infringed, partially because he had to be extradited from another country. A Canadian warrant was first issued for MacIntosh’s arrest in 1996 but he wasn’t extradited from India until 2007 and wasn’t seen before a judge until 2010.
After he was arrested in Nepal in 2014 on charges of luring a 15-year-old boy to his hotel room for sex in exchange for cash, MacIntosh would only serve half of his seven-year sentence before he was released from prison. Authorities cited age and his health condition as reasons for his release and deportation from the country.
In September, MacIntosh was acquitted of failing to report to police in Quebec and register as a sex offender upon his return to the country as the Crown learned he had been in hospital around the time of the alleged offence.
The complainant’s statement of claim indicates MacIntosh is liable for sexual battery, intentional infliction on sexual integrity and mental injury, along with false imprisonment.
“The nature of these relationships created an imbalance of power and exploitation that removed the possibility of consent to sexual contact,” the statement read. “The plaintiffs were young boys who feared for their safety while being trapped in the confined locations in which the abuse occurred, such as MacIntosh’s room, a boat, hotel rooms, cars, and houses.”
The complainants are each seeking general and aggravated damages in the amount of $300,000, punitive and exemplary damages in the amount of $50,000, and special damages in an amount to be determined prior to trial. “Each of the plaintiffs were deprived of his childhood and has suffered a lifetime of emotional harm from the sexual abuse inflicted on them by MacIntosh,” the court documents read. “As a result of his sexual abuse, he has caused the plaintiffs to suffer severe physical and psychological harm that continues to this day.”