A Vancouver Island teacher who was falsely accused of raping and torturing a student is seeking compensation after the girl’s claims were found to be based on a popular TV crime show.
Donald Barber was suspended in 2012 after the then-Grade 10 student came forward saying the veteran teacher had been sadistically assaulting her for years.
The girl reported being raped, tortured, and burned to the point of scarring, according to an arbitration decision last year. Diary entries describe her alleged encounters with Barber, including one where she said she was sold to a uniformed police officer for sex.
Barber was arrested, then suspended. But charges were never laid due to a lack of evidence.
The Qualicum school district hired lawyer Marli Rusen to look into the case. Her 2013 investigation supported the student’s allegations, and recommended that Barber be banned from the school district altogether. Soon after, Barber was fired.
The longtime teacher with a spotless record fought for his job. Ultimately, an arbitration hearing uncovered that all of the student’s claims were lifted from the TV show “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.” The girl testified that she had watched every episode of the drama at least three times, and some as many as 10 times…