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Convicted child rapist used to work for Quest Rehabilitation Centre

Parents upset about being kept in the dark

by Robert Devet

The Quest Rehabilitation Centre in Lower Sackville is in the news again. Worried parents say convicted child rapist Anthony Leo Gough used to work at the institution and they're not even told whether anybody is investigating. Photo Robert Devet
The Quest Rehabilitation Centre in Lower Sackville is in the news again. Worried parents say convicted child rapist Anthony Leo Gough used to work at the institution and they're not even told whether anybody is investigating. Photo Robert Devet

KJIPUKTUK (HALIFAX) – Anthony Leo Gough was recently sentenced to five years in jail for the sexual assault of a 17-year old girl labeled with a developmental disability. At the time Gough served as the executive director of the Social Opportunities and Rec Society of Nova Scotia (SOARS).

The Halifax Media Co-op has learned that prior to his employment with SOARS Gough was an employee at the Quest Regional Rehabilitation Centre in Lower Sackville.

At that time Gough did not have a criminal record. Gough was charged in March of this year

Gough worked at Quest for a considerable time, parents of current and former Quest residents tell the Halifax Media Co-op.

The parents are not aware of any constraints at the time on Gough's ability to interact with these very vulnerable people. Some of the residents are mostly non-verbal, they say.

The parents say they are worried and upset that nobody from the institution or the department of Community Services has contacted them.

They are also not aware of any investigation being conducted to ensure that their children did not fall victim to Gough.

“The people there can't speak. He may have taken them in a room and did whatever he wanted to. Chances are that he has a history of that,” says one of the parents.

“As parents you'd think they would have reached out to us to say this guy worked here, we are conducting a review. There has been none of that,” she says.

Community Services is saying little.

“The safety and well-being of our clients in residential care is a top priority. We can’t speak to specifics regarding this person’s employment history, as Community Services was not his employer,” writes Lori Errington, spokesperson for Community Services.

“Whenever any incident or situation occurs in any of our residential placements that raises concerns about the safety of our clients, we would certainly have conversations and carry out a review with the service provider,” Errington writes.

Quest did not respond to our inquiries.

Another parent tells the Halifax Media Co-op that she recently met with Quest to discuss her son's situation and that the issue was not mentioned.

“It's very difficult to be kept in the dark, knowing what my child was possibly exposed to,” she tells the Halifax Media Co-op.

“I should know that he is safe, so that I can sleep at night,” she says.

The institution, home to 24 individuals, many held there against their will, has been in the news before.

In May of this year Gordon James Longphee died after being attacked by a fellow Quest resident. It also made the headlines when staff charged Nichelle Ben with assault.

Residents of large institutions in Nova Scotia, and elsewhere, are especially vulnerable to physical, emotional and sexual abuse.

Between 2007 and 2009 43 cases across the province were classified as "founded" by investigators, the CBC reported at the time.

That's only the tip of the iceberg, observers believe. Many incidents remain unreported.

Follow Robert Devet on Twitter @DevetRobert

 

 


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