Civil lawsuits alleging a former director of Minden’s Kilcoo Camp sexually assaulted a student camper, and a former staffer, almost 20 years apart, have been filed in court.

David ‘Lub’ Latimer is accused of manipulation, false imprisonment, and sexual assault in two lawsuits filed at the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Bracebridge July 27. He was a director at Kilcoo from 1985 until recently.

In an emailed statement to The Highlander, Kim Bouchard, director of finance and administration, said Kilcoo, “immediately made leadership changes… upon learning of a potential claim.” She said Latimer is no longer camp director and has no active involvement in the operation.

Attempts to reach Latimer for comment have been unsuccessful. In a submission to CBC, Scott Hutchison, a Toronto-based lawyer representing Latimer, said his client intended to fight the claim.

“The allegations suggesting that I harmed anyone associated with the camp or anywhere else are simply not true. I would never do anything to hurt any young person,” Latimer’s statement read. CBC reports Latimer “chose to step away” from his position at Kilcoo until the situation is resolved.

Bouchard would not confirm whether Latimer left of his own volition. She said Kilcoo will cooperate with any investigation into the “troubling allegations.”

The claims are being brought forward in civil court and have not been proven. No statement of defence had been filed as of Aug. 9. The two plaintiffs, who are not named, are seeking a minimum of $5.5 million in damages from Latimer and Kilcoo Camp, which has been accused of failing to protect the claimants.

Shaker’s story

Disclaimer: the following includes details of encounters that may be troubling to read.

The first statement of claim was filed by a 39-year-old Toronto resident, identified as J. Doe #1. Court documents state the individual attended a week-long outdoor education program at Kilcoo twice between 1990 and 1993. Latimer was a director, officer, and camp counsellor at the time and, it is alleged, singled out Doe #1 for “special attention.”

Latimer gave the claimant the nickname ‘Shaker’, in reference to a secret handshake they came up with. The claim states he showered ‘Shaker’ with gifts, including a hat with the nickname on the back.

“Latimer’s attention made Doe #1 feel special and valued… they began to view Latimer as someone they could trust,” the claim reads.

During the first trip, the lawsuit states Latimer wanted to take Doe #1 on a “secret” trip. It’s alleged the pair went into a garage, where it’s claimed Latimer sexually assaulted Doe #1.

Following the assault, Doe #1 claims Latimer manipulated them into believing the pair were in a romantic relationship, exchanging letters, photos and cards after Doe #1 returned home, and regularly spoke on the phone.

Doe #1 claims it was not consensual and over time the effects of the psychological trauma acutely impacted their mental health, causing them to lose their job, withdraw from their social network, and move back home.

Submission does not equal consent’

The second claim was filed by a 33-yearold from Stouffville, 12 when she first attended the camp and met Latimer in 2001. During that initial visit, it’s claimed Latimer gave the claimant an affectionate nickname and told her she was special. She attended two further week-long camps in 2002 and 2003.

In 2005, when Doe #2 was 15, she volunteered as a junior counsellor. She became a “land staff” team member in 2009, assisting with programming. Doe #2 worked at Kilcoo until 2013.

“During the course of her employment, Latimer continued to single Doe #2 out for special treatment… gradually, Latimer began touching [her] in casual, seemingly innocent ways to attempt to normalize physical contact between them. Eventually, Latimer told Doe #2 he had a special spiritual connection with her,” the claim reads.

The first alleged assault was in 2009, when she was 19 years old – when Doe #2 was privately undressing inside Kilcoo’s recreation hut. Latimer’s abuse extended to sexually explicit text messages and phone calls, it’s alleged.

Doe #2 said she was afraid to object or complain because she feared losing her job. Latimer used gifts to ensure Doe #2 kept his abuse a secret, it’s claimed.

The lawsuit noted, “at no time did Latimer take reasonable steps to ascertain Doe #2’s consent… submission does not equal consent.”

The series of assaults “forever altered the course of Doe #2’s life,” the claim adds.

Kilcoo installs new camp director

Aldrin Primaylon has been installed as the new camp director, Bouchard said, and the summer schedule has not been impacted.

Asked to comment on the suits, which name Kilcoo as a defendant, Bouchard said, “these troubling allegations only involve the actions of the former director.”

Heather Thomas, vice principal at Greenwood College School, a private institution in Toronto, said she was “deeply concerned” about the allegations. She confirmed Latimer had served as a director at the school but didn’t say when he left. The lawsuits state Latimer retired in 2023 “following rumours he violated boundaries with minor students at Greenwood.

Thomas did not address those rumours.

Cst. Michael Melnychuk of the Haliburton Highlands OPP said he wasn’t aware of any criminal proceedings against Latimer as of press time.