2 Victoria realtors deny drugging and sexually assaulting client
Two Victoria realtors accused of sexually assaulting a client at their real estate agency in 2018 have filed a statement of defense, denying the allegations.
The men, Bowman Rutledge and Andy Rogers, are responding to a civil lawsuit brought against them last month in the BC Supreme Court by a former client.
She says she hired the two men in December 2017 to sell her house. It was sold two months later and changed possession in May 2018.
The complainant, who CBC agreed not to name because she is an alleged victim of sexual assault, said in August 2018 that she agreed to meet with Rutledge to celebrate the sale of her home.
Instead, her statement says, she was met by both Rutledge and Rogers, who lured her to their place of business, Engel & Volkers, on Vancouver Island, on the assumption that she had to fill out some paperwork before she left.
She alleges that upon arrival at the office, she was handed a drugged glass of wine and quickly began to feel ill and disoriented.
She says that was when the two men allegedly sexually assaulted her. The costume also names the real estate agency.
The defense statement says Rutledge and Rogers “support survivors of sexual violence and deny the alleged acts attributed to them.”
The response indicates that Rutledge and the client were longtime friends and grew closer as they worked on the process of selling her home during the winter of 2017-18.
He says the two have regularly exchanged messages on social media, including the client “sending pictures of her naked to Rutledge.”
After the sale of his house, according to the lawsuit response, Rutledge and the woman behind the civil lawsuit have remained in contact via social media.
“Specifically, [the plaintiff] continued to send suggestive messages and often sought to involve Rutledge and Rogers, and indeed in social contexts, ”he says.
The response alleges the woman asked to join Rutledge and Rogers for a drink on the night in question, and says the three met outside her apartment building in downtown Victoria, then went to the real estate office of the accused where they had a drink in the meeting room.
“There was no discussion of any document requiring execution or transmission for any purpose. The sole purpose of being in the office was to stop and drink alcoholic beverages,” the memoir reads. defense.
They deny drugging his drink and deny “details of the alleged sexual assault,” the response says.
The statement described the office as having floor-to-ceiling windows facing a main street in Victoria and said there is “only a narrow strip of privacy frosting on the windows.”
He says the meeting room is where the three spent “all the material time.” The response alleges that after drinking at the office, all three continued to socialize and communicate frequently for several months.
He says the client frequently “liked” the social media posts of realtors and, in the weeks following the evening at the office, asked Rutledge if there was a possibility of a romantic relationship.
He also indicates that she invited the pair to join her downtown in the fall of 2020, and on January 28, 2021, she texted Rutledge asking for information about potential vacation rentals on board. sea.
The client first reported sexual assault allegations in February this year, on @survivorstoriesproject – an anonymous Victoria-based instagram account for survivors of sexual assault.
At the time, Rutledge and Rogers were working for another real estate company, which fired them as soon as the allegations surfaced.
After the civil lawsuit was filed last month, Scott Piercy, owner of Engel & Volkers on Vancouver Island, released a statement saying: “We have just become aware that our firm has been named in a civil lawsuit. linked to disturbing allegations involving two former independent contractors. We will act on the advice of legal counsel and address these concerns through the court system once we have received more information.
“We remain a dedicated, professional and ethical team of licensed counselors and these allegations do not represent who we are. Any form of sexual misconduct is completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated within our industry or our community.”
Vancouver lawyer Janelle O’Connor represents the plaintiff in the civil action. She did not respond to a request for comment on time.
Defendants’ attorney in Victoria, Nav Parhar, declined to comment beyond the defense statement.