A 24-year-old Saint John man who was a minor when he was sexually assaulted by Scott Geikie says he now lives in fear of accidentally bumping into his attacker.
Geikie, a former hockey coach and attendant at Lord Beaverbrook Rink, was sentenced in 2018 to 35 months in federal prison for sexually assaulting a minor and child luring.
His sentence expired about 100 days ago, and the victim says he’s afraid Geikie will use his freedom to do it again.
“I strongly believe he poses a serious risk to society,” said the victim, identified in court papers only as AB by judge’s order. “I’m not convinced that he has really overcome his problems.”
Geikie was granted day parole on September 17, 2020, on the condition that he not travel to the city of Saint John.
“The victim of your crime has suffered greatly at your hands and restricting your access to the geographic area in which they reside will reduce the risk of chance encounters and therefore re-victimization of the victim,” the Canadian Parole Board wrote in her decision.
This condition remained in effect even when Geikie reached her statutory release date two months later on November 6, 2020.
By law, federal inmates are released into the community after serving two-thirds of their sentence.
Geikie’s full sentence ended on October 26, 2021, the so-called warrant expiry date. At that time, Corrections Canada and the Parole Board no longer had any jurisdiction over him.
However, the bans ordered by the judge at sentencing will impact Geikie for the rest of his life.
In Canada, when a person is found guilty of sex crimes against victims under the age of 16, the court can order lifetime restrictions that apply to the offender even after the sentence has ended.
Under Section 161 of the Criminal Code, Geikie must always comply with the following:
It should not be in schools, playgrounds or places such as parks where young people under the age of 16 would also be present.
He should not volunteer or work for any organization that would place him in a position of trust or authority over young people.
He must not have any contact with anyone under the age of 16 without the supervision of a person approved by the court.
He must not use the Internet unless it is done in accordance with the conditions set by the court.
Additionally, for life, Geikie must comply with the Sex Offender Registry Act. This means that he will have to tell the RCMP where he lives and where he works or volunteers.
In AB’s view, none of this guarantees that Geikie will not somehow access the Internet to find new victims.
“If you’re a naïve kid like me and you come into contact with him through Facebook, dangers can arise very quickly,” AB said. “Those are the fears I have.”
The parole board saw a risk
In 2019, AB attended a parole board hearing for Geikie at Dorchester Penitentiary to provide a victim impact statement.
“You sit behind the offender, the offender doesn’t look at you,” he said. “It was intimidating. It was nerve-wracking and emotional.”
The board denied Geikie’s day parole application, finding that he still denied the sexual motives for his behavior. Geikie appealed and lost.
“Your lack of awareness of your personal risk factors and your continued denial and lack of transparency about your sexual preferences are all factors that compound your risk to society,” the appeal board division wrote.
By the time Geikie was released, according to the parole board, he had admitted to engaging in “grooming behaviors” and using his coaching position to do so.
AB saw his life change
AB said he lost so much because of Geikie’s actions, including his innocence and his passion for the sport. He never played hockey or baseball or refereed again.
He said he could not discuss whether a civil lawsuit he filed in 2018 was settled out of court and, if so, for how much.
The lawsuit accuses several defendants of failing to implement proper screening and failing to act when they should have known that Geikie had a propensity for sexual interest in boys.
None of the lawsuit’s allegations have been tested in court, and the court filings contain no notice of trial date or other resolution. There are no ongoing hearings.
AB seeks damages for, among other things, the cost of future care, including psychological counselling, loss of enjoyment of life and pain and suffering as well as “other damages which cannot be calculated at the current time”.
Several hockey groups are named in the action, including the New Brunswick Amateur Hockey Association, the Saint John Youth Minor Hockey Association and EDZA South, a development program for talented young players. They filed their statements of defense together as “Hockey NB Defendants”.
Baseball New Brunswick and Lancaster Minor Baseball are also defendants.
AB is also suing the City of Saint John and the board of Lord Beaverbrook Rink, where Geikie worked.
He said the sexual abuse and assault started when he was 11 and lasted for six years. And all the while, AB said, Geikie held various positions with the defendants.
The groups deny any responsibility
The City of Saint John, owner of the LBR, has denied all allegations in the claim. The city says Geikie’s duties as an attendant at the rink included the upkeep, garbage removal and operation of the Zamboni, but not “the care, control or education of the plaintiff or any other person “.
Hockey NB admits that Geikie was a volunteer with Saint John Youth Minor Hockey, but he could not have known that he would use this role to abduct, confine or sexually assault the Complainant, as alleged.
At all times, says Hockey NB, it had reasonable policies and procedures regarding the conduct of volunteers.
All of the organizations named in the lawsuit have also filed counterclaims. In other words, they all say they’re not to blame.
When AB was asked what type of settlement offer might be acceptable, he declined to discuss the numbers.
“There is no money that could give me back 10 years of my life.”