A North Vancouver man released after spending 27 years in jail for a wrongful conviction is asking the courts to dismiss a civil lawsuit launched by five women who still allege being victimized by him.
Ivan Henry’s lawyers have fired back against the civil lawsuit launched by the women – identified only as Jane Does 1 to 5 – who claim Henry sexually assaulted them in the early 1980s.
In a response to the lawsuit, Henry has denied the claims, saying he “did not commit the sexual assaults” and that the facts surrounding the case have already been decided by the courts.
Henry’s lawyers describe the civil suit as “an abuse of the process of the courts.”
The lawsuit filed by the women in October seeks damages from Henry for physical and psychological trauma. The lawsuit alleges Henry has been unjustly enriched by “profiting from the sexual assaults that he committed.”
Henry has denied those claims.
Henry was arrested in July 1982 and charged with sexual offences against eight different women that had taken place in his Vancouver neighbourhood between 1981 and 1982. Henry represented himself during the trial and was found guilty in March 1983, declared a dangerous offender and jailed indefinitely. He maintained his innocence and attempted to file numerous appeals from prison over the years.
His case was reviewed by a special prosecutor and he was released on bail in 2009, at which time he went to live with his adult daughter in North Vancouver. In October 2010 the B.C. Court of Appeal overturned his convictions, after finding Crown prosecutors in the case had not disclosed relevant information to Henry and showed a shocking disregard for his rights. Henry never heard about another suspect who lived in the area where the attacks had taken place, and which continued after he was arrested. Police also destroyed DNA evidence which could have exonerated him, the court heard.
Henry is asking the courts to toss the claim and award costs to him, based on statements made by lawyers on behalf of the women.
Henry’s legal response adds in failing to identify the women by name in court documents the lawsuit does not meet legal requirements.