By Duncan Mackay

Former Vancouver 2010 President and chief executive John Furlong has denied allegations that he physically and sexually abused former pupilsSeptember 23 - John Furlong, former President and chief executive of Vancouver 2010, today formally denied sexual abuse allegations from two former students who have filed lawsuits against him.

At the same time however, a third lawsuit was filed in court against Furlong by another former student who alleged he had abused him.

In a civil lawsuit filed in Vancouver, a man claimed he was a nine-year-old student at Immaculata School in Burns Lake, British Columbia, when Furlong arrived as a volunteer teacher in 1969 after immigrating from Ireland.

The man alleged Furlong isolated him in a small room after class, and on two occasions forced him to masturbate him.

On a third occasion, the statement of claim said there was forced anal intercourse by Furlong.

"During and after he sexually abused the plaintiff, the defendant John Furlong called the plaintiff a 'dirty little Indian,'" the document said.

"The defendant John Furlong told the plaintiff that if he ever told anyone about the abuse no one would believe him."

The man said he has suffered emotionally and psychologically from the abuse, and "was generally disempowered as a result of racism and geographic isolation."

He said he did not seek legal advice and was unaware that he could bring legal action.

None of the claims from the three lawsuits have been proven in court. 

No statement of defence has so far been filed in the third civil lawsuit against Furlong.

In court documents filed today in the first two cases, Furlong claimed he does not recall if he taught Grace West and Beverly Abraham during his time as a volunteer teacher at the Catholic school in northern British Columbia more than four decades ago.

"The defendant denied that he sexually molested or physically abused or engaged in any inappropriate conduct in respect of the plaintiff," said two identical statements of defence filed in the British Columbia Supreme Court.

The allegations against John Furlong happened more than 40 years ago when he was teaching in Burns Lake, British ColumbiaThe allegations against John Furlong happened more than 40 years ago when he was teaching in Burns Lake, British Columbia

The two women filed civil claims in the summer, after allegations of physical abuse surfaced earlier this year against Furlong in connection to his time teaching physical education to First Nations students at Immaculata School.

West, 53, alleges Furlong kicked her in the buttocks almost every day, as well as in the legs and back, always when nobody was around to witness the abuse.

She said he called her names, including "dirty Indian," and sexually molested her in a changing room after gym class approximately once a week.

In her statement of claim, West said she told her father, who confronted Furlong and removed her from the school.

West claimed other parents also went to the diocese with complaints, which were never acted upon.

Abraham's statement of claim said she was 11 years old when sexual abuse by Furlong began.

Abraham, now 55, said Furlong also asked nuns working at the school to physically punish her by having her kneel on the floor while they struck her open palms repeatedly.

The woman are also seeking compensation in their civil claims for defamation over Furlong's suggestion at a news conference that unnamed persons had threatened to make accusations in order to extort him.

In the court documents filed today, Furlong said it was the plaintiffs themselves who made their identities public.

"The plaintiff self-published the false allegations that she had been sexually or otherwise abused by the defendant," it said. "If the plaintiff has suffered loss, damage and was caused by the plaintiff's self-publication of the false allegations...."

The allegations against Furlong surfaced in an article in the weekly Georgia Straight newspaper last fall, which suggested Furlong lied about his past at the Catholic school and physically and verbally abused First Nations students there.

Furlong did not mention his time as a Catholic school teacher in Burns Lake or Prince George, British Columbia, in his autobiography Patriot Hearts.

The 62-year-old Furlong, now the executive chairman of Major League Soccer club Vancouver Whitecaps, has vehemently denied the allegations, and launched his own defamation lawsuits against the newspaper and journalist Laura Robinson.

Robinson made a new round of allegations in her statement of defence, including accusations that Furlong sexually assaulted a former common-law spouse.

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

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July 2013: Civil suits against former Vancouver 2010 chief claims of sexual abuse
April 2013: John Furlong's wife killed in car crash in Ireland
January 2013: Furlong is not a "racist, a wife-beater and a rapist" insist upset family
January 2013: Furlong faces new allegations after court documents filed
January 2013: Furlong defendants file court papers in libel case