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Ex-Foster Child Sues

September 29, 2011 permalink

London Ontario resident John Milonas is suing a defunct church and its pastor, as well as CAS, for abuse while he was in their care.



Pastor’s former pupil files $1.5 M abuse lawsuit

John Milonas and Phlllip Millar
John Milonas, left and his lawyer, Phlllip Millar, have filed a $1.5 million lawsuit against the pastor of the now-defunct Ambassador Baptist Church for abuse suffered in the mid-1980s.
(HANK DANISZEWSKI, The London Free Press)

John Milonas was just 12 years old when he was assaulted, abused and humiliated by his pastor and teacher, Royden Wood.

The London man, now 38, announced at a news conference Tuesday he has launched a $1.5-million lawsuit against Wood and the defunct Ambassador Baptist Church.

"The abuse has ruined my life . . . Depression, feelings of failure, (are) something I deal with daily," said Milonas, who is married with three children and works as a computer technician.

In the mid-1980s, Milonas attended an alternative school run by the church.

At Wood's criminal trial in 2008, court heard that Milonas and two other boys, Richard Howell and Norman Howell, were singled out from the other students and subjected to Wood's "behaviour-modification" methods, which included pulling hairs out of their upper lips with pliers, punching them in the stomach and making them stand at attention for hours at a time.

Milonas is represented by London lawyer Phillip Millar. Richard and Norman Howell are not plantiffs in the lawsuit, but Millar said they'll be included in the future.

The suit also names the Children's Aid Society and the Education Ministry as defendants. Millar said he is trying to determine if the alternative school was registered with the ministry or whether the Children's Aid Society was involved.

Milonas said he lost two years of education at the alternative school and later dropped out of high school in Grade 10.

"(Wood's) whole goal was (to) turn us into men, but he has done just the opposite and damaged us for life," Milonas said.

Milonas said he was placed in the church school by his parents to "build character." Milonas later broke off all contacts with his parents.

In 2008, Wood was sentenced to 11 months in jail after he was convicted of assaulting the boys and sexually assaulting two female church members.

Millar said Wood later filed an appeal of his conviction. He said he's still trying to determine the status of Wood's appeal.

Millar said Wood and his wife live in a vacation property near Gravenhurst.

The Ambassador Baptist Church, at King and Adelaide streets, was closed in 2007.

Millar said it's unlikely anything can be collected from the defunct church, but Wood and his wife have assets.

He said Wood, who defended himself at trial in the criminal case, has retained a Toronto law firm.

Source: London Free Press