Church not liable for sexual assaults committed by respected lay minister

Man was not an employee of the church, and position he held did not give a greater opportunity to commit illegal acts
|Canadian Employment Law Today

Wilson v. United Church of Canada, 2005 CarswellBC 863, 2005 BCSC 564 (B.C. S.C.)

A British Columbia court has rejected a woman’s claim that the church she attended as a young girl is liable for the sexual assault committed by a lay minister.

Between 1965 and 1973 Lila Wilson was assaulted by Fred Bolton, a church elder and lay minister in Hartley Bay, a small and isolated village on the B.C. coast. In her action she said the United Church of Canada branch in the town was vicariously liable for the attacks or, alternatively, that it was negligent in not screening or supervising Bolton so he would not be in a position to harm her.