Big Brothers Sexual Abuse

Big Brothers Sexual Abuse

Big Brothers (now known as Big Brothers Big Sisters) is a non-profit organization that provides services to youth, including matching pre-screened and approved adult male volunteers with boys. The assigned “Big Brother” is meant to serve as a role model to his “Little Brother”, and to encourage, nurture and support his Little Brother in achieving educational and vocational goals, and developing respectful and productive relationships with family, peers, and in the wider community.  Unfortunately, there are occasions when a Big Brother abuses his position of trust and authority by committing acts of sexual misconduct against his Little Brother.

For example, in 2012 former Big Brother Douglas MacKenzie was charged with sexually assaulting his Little Brother in the 1990s. (See The Star, Former Big Brother, hockey coach charged with sexual molestation, published July 17, 2012)

In 2014, MacKenzie was convicted of sexual crimes against three boys, including his Little Brother, and sentenced to serve an 8-year prison term. A civil suit was subsequently commenced against Big Brothers of Peel Region and MacKenzie by the former Little Brother and his mother.

According to The Star, Michael Kachanovsky is another former Big Brother from Big Brothers of Peel who has been charged with sexual misconduct against a boy dating back to the 1990s.  Kachanovsky is reported to have been a coach with Streetsville Minor Hockey Association in the early 1990s, and a Big Brother from 1990 to 1994. He was charged in 2014 with sexual assault and sexual exploitation. (See The Star Former minor hockey coach and Big Brother charged with sexual assault, published May 6, 2014)

In January 2016, the Waterloo Region Record reported that another former Big Brother (name not provided) was charged with indecent assault in connection with the sexual abuse of an 11-year old boy that began in the 1970s. This Big Brother is reported to have been the former director of intake services with Waterloo Region’s social services department, as well as a volunteer with Big Brothers. The Waterloo Regional Police are actively looking for other potential victims. (See the Waterloo Region Record, Former regional manager faces charge of sexual assault on a boy)

Lerners LLP partner Elizabeth Grace is a lawyer who specializes in representing sexual abuse victims, including those who allege they were sexually assaulted by a Big Brother. Recognized as an expert in this area of law, she encourages victims of sexual assault, including those who have information about sexual misconduct, to contact the team of legal professionals headed by Elizabeth Grace.  This team regularly helps survivors of sexual assault pursue the compensation and other legal remedies to which they may be entitled. Contact Elizabeth Grace at egrace@lerners.ca, or 416.601.2378 or toll free 1-800-263-5583.

Elizabeth Grace

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