Gerald Fagan, a long-time volunteer in the Alberni Valley, pleaded guilty to a criminal harassment charge on Dec. 29 in Port Alberni Provincial Court.
The court heard that while volunteering at Fir Park Village in 2002, Fagan, now 78, allegedly pursued a personal relationship with staff member Maria Behn.
The feelings were not reciprocated yet Fagan allegedly continued to contact Behn over the course of 14 years.
Eventually Fagan was dismissed from his volunteering position at Fir Park after Behn made complaints to the supervisors about his behaviour towards her.
Behn said she filed complaints against Fagan throughout the 14 years with the Port Alberni RCMP. The police told Fagan not to contact Behn, however, he continued to do so after he was told not to: the latest occurrence being in April 2016 through a letter.
Fagan, who has been married for 52 years and has three children, was given two years’ probation with conditions.
Judge Brian Harvey told Fagan in court on Thursday that he must have no contact with Behn directly or indirectly, not come within 50 metres of any known residence or place of work of Behn and not possess any weapons. Fagan will not receive a criminal record for this matter.
Fagan told the judge that Behn’s initial claim was “totally false” and that although he was guilty of contacting Behn despite police telling him not to, it was in a non-threatening way.