Support worker wins suit over sex-assault charge

Woman receives a “significant” settlement after alleging police probe was negligent

The Ottawa Citizen, Andrew Seymour

The City of Ottawa has settled a lawsuite with a personal support worker who sued the Ottawa police after she was found not guilty of sexually assaulting an elderly patient. Hyacinth Plante lost her job at the city-run Peter D. Clark long-term care facility in January 2007 after being accused of inappropriately touching a man with end-stage dementia and joking in a washroom about his genitals. She was acquitted of those charges after a judge concluded there were no reasonable and probably grounds a sexual assault had occurred and that the evidence against her wasn’t reliable, according to her statement of claim. On Friday, she received a settlement from the city, five years after filing a lawsuit that alleged the Ottawa police investigation was negligent and breached her Charter rights. “It’s been hell. It has been hell and it has been a long, long fight,” the 62-year-old Plante said Friday. “It makes me cry to know what I’ve gone through with my job that I was doing honestly. I didn’t do anything wrong.”