John Furlong claims vindication

What happened or did not happen in Burns Lake at centre of law suits.

John Furlong has broken his silence on the allegations of physical, mental and emotional abuse levelled against him in Vancouver’s Georgia Straight newspaper by journalist Laura Robinson last summer.

Robinson’s Sept. 26, 2012 article alleged that sworn affidavits from eight students of the former Immaculata School in Burns Lake revealed Furlong to have been physically abusive of some students during his time there as a physical education teacher in the late 1960s.

Furlong vehemently denied the allegations as soon as they came out in print. Under legal counsel he went silent on the matter once defamation suits had been filed against the Georgia Straight and Robinson.

Three former Burns Lake students, Beverly Abraham, Grace Jessie West and Daniel Morice eventually filed civil suits against Furlong last summer alleging sexual abuse at his hands during their time at Immaculata school.

On Oct. 28 2013, Global News broke the story that the RCMP criminal investigation into Abraham’s allegations had concluded months earlier in April with no evidence found to support Abraham’s claims.

In a televised broadcast interview with Furlong, Global aired a letter sent to Furlong’s lawyer from the RCMP case investigator stating, ‘the RCMP have concluded their investigation into the matter and have found nothing to substantiate the complaint.”

During the interview Furlong expressed relief that his name had been cleared, although BC RCMP spokesperson Sgt. Rob Vermeulen later said, “Due to the serious and sensitive nature of the allegations… we asked for an independent review of our complete investigation by major crime investigators from another province. That review resulted in a number of investigative recommendations that we continue to follow up on. Our overall file remains open at this time.”

Abraham’s civil suit, as well as the other two suits, remain before the B.C. Supreme Court.

Furlong added that he had dropped his defamation suit against the Georgia Straight, but that his suit against Laura Robinson will continue.

“My defamation case against Laura Robinson will continue and be escalated — she is the perpetrator of these defamatory allegations,” Furlong said. “Ms. Robinson has a two decade-long pattern of inaccuracy in her writing. Her words have hurt innocent people.”

Abraham told Global News she was heartbroken at the news that the investigation had been concluded. She did not believe the RCMP had done a thorough investigation.

On July 29, 2013, Jason Gratl, attorney for Abraham and West, filed a complaint with the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP alleging bias in the police investigation of his clients.

Despite the pending civil cases against Furlong, he takes the conclusion of the RCMP investigation into Abraham’s allegations to be his vindication.

“After a thorough investigation, the RCMP have cleared me of the allegations that Ms. Robinson brought to the RCMP on behalf of Beverley Abraham in the summer of 2012,” Furlong said.

RCMP will not comment on any ongoing investigations in consideration of the multiple civil actions before the courts.

 

Just Posted

High winds cut power, start fire in Burns Lake region

Strong winds on April 22 knocked out electricity supplies for almost 2,000… Continue reading

Repen: FOI data proves Telkwans being ripped off by ICBC

Former Telkwa mayor received a response from ICBC and says the results don’t look good for residents

Fires still burning near Telegraph Creek

BC Wildfire Service assures residents of a proactive plan heading into wildfire season

Northwest entrepreneurs pitch their plans for cash prizes

ThriveNorth announces 12 finalists in this year’s business challenge

Gas prices spike in northern B.C. ahead of the long weekend

Fuel went up 17 cents overnight in Prince Rupert

What’s age got to do with it? B.C. couple with 45-year gap talks happy marriage

An Armstrong couple that has 45-year age gap began turning heads after being featured on show Extreme Love.

B.C. men challenge constitutionality of Canada’s secret no-fly list

Parvkar Singh Dulai says he received a “denial of boarding” notification under the no-fly program last May 17

Murder on B.C. property didn’t need to be disclosed before sale, court rules

Buyer had tried to break contract after learning a man with ties to crime had been murdered there

B.C.’s largest Vaisakhi festival target of threatening Facebook post: Surrey RCMP

Police say they are investigating the posts on Facebook, after local MLA forwarded screenshots

Pug life: B.C. town boasts waggish list of dog names

Freedom-of-information request lists most ‘pupular’ dog names registered in White Rock

VIDEO: Fish farming company launches $30-million vessel to treat salmon for sea lice in B.C. waters

Freshwater treatment an improvement but fish farms should be removed from sea, says conservationist

Singh says childhood abuse steeled him for scrutiny and stress of politics

He recounts the assaults for the first time in his book Love & Courage

Despite five extra weeks’ parental leave in Canada, dads still face stigma: survey

One reason people said dads don’t need leave is because they can just bond with their kids at weekend

Vintage bottles, magic cards, a 1969 Playboy: Quirky items found in historic B.C. buildings

Crews set aside some of the funkier pieces emerging from the construction rubble

Most Read