Sex assault victim of taekwondo instructor King Yeung sues academy, CFS

Sex assault victim of taekwondo instructor King Yeung sues academy, CFS

A victim of former taekwondo instructor and convicted sexual abuser King Yeung has now filed a lawsuit against the taekwondo academy where he groomed his victims, and West Region Child and Family Services, alleging they didn't do enough to protect her.

Yeung, 58, pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting three of his former students and was sentenced last spring to 10 years in prison.

Kang's Taekwondo manager Bill Tam declined to comment on Tuesday, saying he had not yet seen a copy of the lawsuit.

"I can't comment on anything," Tam said. "We don't know what is in it."

Yeung, a former grandmaster at the academy in Winnipeg, and Joey Adamowski, grandmaster at the academy's Dauphin, Man., location, are also named as defendants in the lawsuit. Adamowski allegedly hosted Yeung and students for overnight stays in his home when they were in town for tournaments.

"By failing to make his home safe for young women, like [the victim], even though he knew or ought to have known that Yeung posed a foreseeable risk of harm to [the victim, the defendant] was negligent and in breach of the duty of care he owed to [the victim]," says the lawsuit.

Calls by CBC to the Dauphin academy went unreturned.

The victim's statement of claim alleges it includes important details not disclosed in court as part of a plea bargain.

"Consequently, Yeung's sentence does not represent the full gravity of the criminal misconduct he perpetrated against [the victim] and Yeung did not receive adequate punishment through the criminal process," the lawsuit alleges.

"His wrongful conduct toward [the victim] was intentional and reprehensible. An award of punitive damages is therefore warranted as a means of specific and general deterrence."

Claim alleges girl was 'singled out'

The victim began training at the Dauphin academy in 2003 or 2004 when she was nine years old and met Yeung two years later during her first colour belt test, the statement of claim says. She moved to Winnipeg with her grandmother in 2008 when she was 14 years old and began training under Yeung.

When the girl's grandmother returned to Dauphin the following year, the girl was placed into foster care, allowing her to continue training with Yeung in Winnipeg.

"Yeung quickly singled out [the victim] for special treatment," the statement of claim alleges.

"Yeung's attention made [her] feel special and valued, but also set her apart and isolated her from the other students and instructors at KTA. This isolation, in turn, intensified [her] loyalty to and dependency on Yeung."

Yeung isolated the victim from her peers and discouraged her from making new friends, saying he "would teach her what she needed to succeed," the statement of claim alleges. Yeung gave the girl positions of authority within the academy and started depositing money into a bank account he set up for her.

"Gradually, Yeung used [her] growing dependency on him to insist that she spend time with or near him in increasingly inappropriate ways, and to exercise more and more control over her life," says the statement of claim.

When the girl started attending out-of-province tournaments, Yeung applied to Child and Family Services to be named her temporary guardian. "During these trips, Yeung served as [the victim's] legal guardian and de facto parent, which further deepened [her] trust and dependency on him," the claim says.

The statement of claim alleges that during an overnight stay at Adamowsky's home in Dauphin, Yeung forced the then 15-year-old girl to masturbate him, and alleges that in the years that followed, "Yeung subjected [the victim] to a series of increasingly intrusive sexual assaults, in a variety of locations." The abuse alleged included forced fondling, oral sex and sexual intercourse.

'Pattern of sexually abusive conduct' alleged

As Yeung's employer, Kang's Taekwondo Academy "fostered an environment in which students were expected to obey, respect and trust their instructors without question," says the statement of claim. 

The victim "specifically pleads that Yeung engaged in a pattern of sexually abusive conduct in which he misused the power and authority vested in him by KTA to gain intimate access to and to take advantage of vulnerable young women for his own gratification, and that KTA knew or ought to have known about the risk posed by Yeung as a result," the statement of claim alleges.

Child and Family Services withdrew support for the victim when she turned 18, says the statement of claim.

"Following this decision, [the victim] was even more financially dependent on Yeung and her employment with KTA and had little choice but to submit to his demands," the statement of claim alleges.

It alleges Child and Family Services took no steps to verify Yeung's credentials when approving him as the victim's temporary guardian and took no steps to ensure the victim's wellbeing.

Stella Bone, the director of West Region Child and Family Services — which provides services in the Dauphin region — declined to comment Monday, saying she had not yet been served a copy of the lawsuit.