Civil lawsuit alleges sexual abuse by Seaforth golf instructor

Golf ball on a white tee. File photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo / Molka

A civil lawsuit has been filed against a Huron East resident and the Seaforth Golf Course on behalf of an unidentified victim, who alleges Cameron Doig, a golf instructor, “repeatedly sexually abused, assaulted and exploited” the underage student while management overlooked the situation.

A statement of claim has been provided to both parties, while omitting the name of the plaintiff to protect their identity.

The statement of claim noted the plaintiff began taking lessons under Doig, 61, in 1993. It states Doig began “paying special attention” to the victim after noticing their talent for the sport, and conducted weekly one-on-one lessons.

The statement describes the victim as being passionate and ambitious, with having dreams of playing professionally while looking up to Doig, valuing his approval.

The allegations, which have not yet been proven in court, claim the sexual abuse started in 1995 when the victim was 13 years old. The allegations include inappropriate and sexually charged comments, incidents involving unwanted touching, kissing and fondling, unwanted sexual advances, voyeurism, and dozens of instances of sexual assault against the plaintiff.

Further in the claim, it alleges Doig paired his “abusive conduct with positive reinforcement”, to manipulate the victim who sought his approval, according to the statement of claim. It also claims Doig used his position of power to ensure the victim did not disclose the abuse to anyone.

The statement says given his status, reputation and influence at Seaforth and within the broader golfing community, “no one would believe her if she told anyone”.

The lawsuit also accuses Seaforth Golf Course of facilitating the abuse by giving him the “opportunity to abuse his power and authority” and accuses the golf course of neglecting to provide the plaintiff an owed duty of care, claiming that it knew or ought to have known about the alleged abuse.

The statement of claim says there is a strong connection between Cameron’s roles at Seaforth Golf Course as a supervisor and lead golf instructor, and, as such, Seaforth Golf Course is “vicariously liable for Doig’s assault and battery”.

The lawsuit, which is being led by lawyer Nicole Marcus of Strosberg Sasso Sutts LLP, is seeking compensation for general damages, as well as special, aggravated and, punitive damages against both defendants.

The lawsuit follows Doig’s several charges relating to historic sexual offences. He was arrested in May of 2020 by Huron County OPP on eight counts of sexual assault that took place in the 1990s. An additional charge of indecent assault was laid in July following an investigation into an allegation that took place in the 1970s.

Doig has since been released from police custody and is scheduled to appear in a Goderich courtroom on September 28.

None of the allegations have tested in court.