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Scientologists face lawsuit // Police officer suing church, church official for malicious prosecution

Title: Scientologists face lawsuit // Police officer suing church, church official for malicious prosecution
Date: Friday, 5 April 1991
Publisher: Edmonton Journal
Main source:

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A city police officer being sued by the Church of Scientology has launched a $100,000 countersuit.

Det. Ken Montgomery is suing the church and church official Allan Buttnor for abuse of process and malicious prosecution.

As a member of the Edmonton Integrated Intelligence Unit, Montgomery investigates "cult, occult, ritualistic and religious influence crime."

Buttnor, who is facing sexual-assault charges, last month filed a $1-million lawsuit against Montgomery, a second police officer and a woman.

Buttnor, acting director of the local church's citizen commission on human rights, is charged with two counts of sexual assault, two counts of sexual interference and one count of unlawful confinement.

In his suit, Buttnor claims the actions taken by police and a relative of his alleged victim were "designed to injure (him) and the Church of Scientology."

Montgomery denies all allegations contained in Buttnor's suit.

Montgomery's lawsuit says that in a March 13 meeting, three church officials were "clearly informed" that Montgomery wasn't involved in the investigation, arrest or detention of Buttnor, nor was he involved in the laying of criminal charges against Buttnor.

The suit says Montgomery was defamed by statements made in a March 18 letter signed by a church official.

The suit says Buttnor and the church instituted their lawsuit without reasonable or probable cause. It says "the conduct of Buttnor and the church amounts to a malicious prosecution."

"As a result of the abuse of the process and malicious prosecution, Montgomery has been greatly injured in his credit, character and reputation in the community, and in his profession as a duly appointed police officer."

The suit claims $50,000 for general and aggravated damages and $50,000 for punitive and exemplary damages.

Copyright The Edmonton Journal