With files from Michelle Morton
The president of Surrey Creep Catchers is being sued for defamation.
The plaintiff from Abbotsford alleges that on Feb. 6 2017, Ryan Laforge falsely and maliciously communicated with him, indicating on Facebook that he was involved in a scheme to procure sex with an underage girl.
The suit says Laforge knowingly published a video, that was viewed over 56,000 times, that he knew was false or in careless disregard as to whether it was true or not.
Court records show the plaintiff claiming he suffered damages to his reputation and his family restaurant.
None of the allegations have been proven in court and a statement of defense has not been filed.
Surrey Creep Catchers post videos to publicly name-and-shame people they claim are child predators.
The group says it’s netted several alleged pedophiles from stings including a Mission Elementary School principal and a Surrey RCMP Mountie.
The group has also come under scrutiny for mistakenly naming another officer as part of the ambush.
And another Surrey man Darrell Berekoff said he was wrongly accused of being the subject a Surrey Creep Catcher’s sting which resulted in online death threats.
Outside perspective from criminal lawyer: ‘not surprised’
A criminal lawyer says she’s not surprised that the Surrey Creep Catchers president is being sued.
Kyla Lee says it’s been a long time coming because the vigilante group has been involved in so many scandals, and she says those scandals, that the organization takes credit for, cause a lot of damage.
She says if there are people who feel they have been legitimately defamed by the Creep Catchers, that they should consult with lawyers.
“Participating in the process of ensuring the integrity of our justice system is something that all Canadians have a responsibility to do. And so, you know, if there is something that a person can do because they’ve been wronged by the Creep Catchers, then they should be doing that in order to protect other people from winding up in the same position they are.”
Lee also says the vigilante group needs to look at this lawsuit as a wake up call.
“Whether they’re targeting people who shouldn’t be targeted by their organization, and whether it’s inappropriate for them to be stepping on the toes of police investigators who are doing this in the proper and lawful manner.”
She says she thinks the group will just laugh the situation off.
“I think until there’s direct indictment of what they’ve done as being wrong coming from the courts, or coming from a person in a position of authority over them, they’re not going to step down from what they’re doing.”