A recent lawsuit alleges a Revelstoke city councillor sexually assaulted a 15-year-old girl while volunteering at her Langely school seven years ago.
While Cody Younker was elected to city council in 2018, at the time of the alleged incident, he was an adult chaperone at Walnut Grove High School.
The student, who is referred to as Jane Doe in the lawsuit, participated in overnight hikes organized by the school.
Documents recently filed at the B.C. Supreme Court allege that during the hikes Younker specifically inquired into the plaintiff’s personal life and learned of her mental health struggles, including suicidal thoughts.
After the third hike, Younker asked for Jane Doe’s phone number and started texting her that same evening. He later began picking her up after school for “homework hangouts”.
In a written statement, Jane Doe said she was being “groomed” and “exploited” by Younker.
Around May and June of 2014, Younker committed acts of sexual assault and battery upon the plaintiff, court documents allege.
“I was invited to his house one evening to study for an upcoming test. The house was quiet and empty. This was the night I was robbed of my innocence,” said Jane Doe.
Around mid-June 2014, the plaintiff reported the abuse to a friend who contacted the school.
School councillor Darlene Kiffiak, who is also named as a defendant in the lawsuit, allegedly interviewed Jane Doe but accused her of lying about the abuse and instead defended Younker.
“This re-victimized me – severely,” said Jane Doe.
The lawsuit alleges, the school district knew or ought to have known the harm Younker posed to students, but failed to take any reasonable steps to protect them.
Younker, the lawsuit alleges, was in a position of trust and power over the plaintiff and had a duty of care to not harm a vulnerable minor.
The plaintiff’s lawyer Sandy Kovacs said no criminal charges were ever laid against Younker, although her client did report her complaint to RCMP.
Black Press has reached out to the RCMP on why no charges were ever filed.
As a result of the abuses, the lawsuit alleges Jane Doe suffered post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms, depression, anxiety, impaired ability to trust and be intimate others, impaired psychological growth and development, low self-esteem, and nightmares.
“Most people can fondly reminisce about their memories of high school. For me, it is traumatic to think back to high school. Every high school memory I have is remembered as something leading up to the assaults,” said Jane Doe.
“I still feel an immense amount of pain that even hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars worth of therapy could not resolve.”
The lawsuit seeks financial relief for pain and suffering as well as aggravated damages, loss of past and future earning capacities, and punitive damages from Younker, Kiffiak and the Langely school district.
“It is imperative to me that the parties involved be held accountable for their actions. Nobody can erase what happened but, after tirelessly trying to speak the truth, it is time that I be heard,” said Jane Doe.
No response has yet been filed to the lawsuit from Younker and the allegations have yet to be tested in court.
In a text message to Black Press, Younker said he would like to speak towards the allegations, but is unable at this time. He did not respond to questions on whether he would stay on city council.
However, he has since deleted his city councillor Facebook account.
Younker did sit on the executive board of the B.C. Liberal Party, but in the wake of the allegations has since resigned.
The Langely school district said in a statement that it’s looking into the allegations, but would not comment further. Kifiak is still listed as a councillor on the school’s website.
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