A victim of a notorious former youth worker and probation officer is suing the provincial government.

Lawyer Mark Knox filed notice of action against the province on March 10. The plaintiff’s name is subject to a publication ban, and the attached statement of claim calls him X.X.F.

“Cezar Lalo, at all material times hereto, was a servant and agent of the Defendant, His Majesty the King in Right of the Province of Nova Scotia, in the capacity of a youth worker under the direction and supervision of the Nova Scotia Department of Community Services, and/or the Department of Justice,” Knox wrote in the statement of claim.

Lalo’s name is more commonly spelled Cesar, and he was convicted of sex crimes against 29 young people that occurred between 1973 and 1989. He’s also been the subject of at least 60 civil cases in Nova Scotia Supreme Court. Tim Bousquet wrote about two such cases in 2017. Lalo died in 2019.

Cesar Lalo. Photo: Facebook

Like many other victims, X.X.F.’s case involved the Shelburne School for Boys.

“In or about the year 1976 or 1977, the Plaintiff was being transported from Halifax, Nova Scotia to the Nova Scotia School for Boys in Shelburne, Nova Scotia by Cezar Lalo,” Knox wrote in the statement of claim.

“During the travel, Cezar Lalo performed sexual acts on the Plaintiff.”

X.X.F. would have been 13 or 14 years old at the time.

“As a result, the Plaintiff has lost several years of productive working life, thereby suffering special and general damages,” Knox wrote.

The provincial Department of Community Services “knew or ought to have known” Lalo “did not have the requisite qualifications or character to be a probation office,” Knox wrote, and “knew or ought to have known that Cezar Lalo had displayed pedophilic and homoerotic tendencies.”

And Knox alleged “the Department failed to have in place a proper system to monitor the activities of its youth probation officers.”

The government is liable for Lalo’s actions, Knox wrote, and X.X.F. is seeking “general damages for pain and suffering and loss of amenities, including aggravated damages,” to-be-determined special damages, interest, and costs.

The government has yet to file a defence. The case is in court for a hearing next month for a confidentiality order, with an interim order banning the publication of X.X.F.’s name “and any information that would identify, or tend to identify the Plaintiff.”

A young white man with a dark beard, looking seriously at the viewer in a black and white photo

Zane Woodford

Zane Woodford is the Halifax Examiner’s municipal reporter. He covers Halifax City Hall and contributes to our ongoing PRICED OUT housing series. Twitter @zwoodford

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