The former Grand Chief of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) is being sued by a former AMC employee who is now seeking more than $400,000 in damages, after she alleges she was a victim of sexual battery at the hands of Arlen Dumas on multiple occasions.
On Aug. 30, a former AMC employee, who the Winnipeg Sun is not naming, filed a statement of claim at the Manitoba Court of King’s Bench seeking $426,000 in damages from Dumas, who was ousted as AMC Grand Chief back in August 2022, after facing accusations of sexual battery and sexual harassment.
The lawsuit states the alleged victim is seeking the damages after experiencing mental suffering, and loss of dignity, and due to needing medical and therapeutic care because of the alleged assaults.
In the statement of claim, the victim alleges she experienced at least eight nonconsensual sexual encounters with Dumas while he was Grand Chief between January and March 2022 while she was working in an executive position at AMC.
“The Defendant committed sexual battery against the Plaintiff on at least eight occasions,” the statement of claim says.
No allegations against Dumas have been tested in court.
According to the lawsuit, Dumas created a hostile work environment for the alleged victim at AMC, and sent her multiple inappropriate texts while the two were working together.
The lawsuit alleges numerous incidents including an incident in January 2022 where it is alleged Dumas sexually assaulted her at his home, and restrained her until she nearly lost consciousness.
The lawsuit also alleges that Dumas made several inappropriate and uninvited comments about the alleged victim’s appearance, and made several attempts to be with her alone, including at his home and in his car.
It also alleges the woman had sex with Dumas on four occasions because “she felt she could not say no because of the Defendant’s position of authority over her.”
Winnipeg Police (WPS) have also previously said that they had received a criminal complaint against Dumas, as in March of 2022, WPS confirmed in an email sent to the Winnipeg Sun they received a complaint against the former Grand Chief, and that an incident number had been created.
WPS said on Monday they could not comment on whether or not a criminal investigation has been opened against Dumas. No criminal charges have been laid against Dumas.
The AMC Chiefs-in-Assembly voted to officially remove Dumas as Grand Chief of AMC in August 2022, after an investigation was conducted into the alleged victim’s claims.
The sexual assault allegations are not the first allegations of misconduct levelled against Dumas since he was elected Grand Chief of AMC back in 2017.
In 2019, Dumas took a temporary leave of absence from the position after being accused of sending unwanted text and social media messages to a woman who says she received numerous unwanted messages from Dumas including one that asked if they could “meet up.”
At the time those messages were sent, Dumas was in his mid-40s, while the woman was 22 years old.
Lawyers for both the alleged victim and for Dumas did not respond to requests for comment on Monday.
— Dave Baxter is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the Winnipeg Sun. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.
Dave Baxter, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Winnipeg Sun