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Updated: Fri, 31 Jan 2014 17:11:27 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca

Rob Ford beating claims merit police probe, lawyer says



Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is questioned by reporters as he returns to the council floor at city hall in Toronto on Thursday, January 30, 2014. Chris Young/The Canadian Press

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is questioned by reporters as he returns to the council floor at city hall in Toronto on Thursday, January 30, 2014. Chris Young/The Canadian Press

The lawyer for Scott MacIntyre, who has filed a lawsuit against Rob Ford alleging that Toronto's mayor conspired to have him severely beaten in jail, is calling on police to investigate the incident.

"It is evident that a violent crime was committed," Tim Gleason told CBC News. "It should be investigated."

Gleason is representing MacIntyre, a former relative of the Ford family, who filed a lawsuit against the mayor on Wednesday.

MacIntyre, the former common-law spouse of Rob Ford's sister, Kathy, claims he was beaten in the spring of 2012 while he was in jail on charges of threatening the mayor.

MacIntyre's lawsuit alleges Ford conspired with some of his former high school football team colleagues to try to silence him over what he knew about the mayor's private activities.

"I'm pleased to hear that the police and ministry officials are prepared to investigate the brutal treatment of our client. I don't know why it took almost two years for them to become interested," Gleason told CBC News in an emailed statement.

But Toronto police spokesman Mark Pugash said Friday that the force is not investigating because MacIntyre has not filed an official complaint.

"If he files a complaint, or reports a crime, we'll investigate," Pugash said.

Police will not commence a criminal probe simply because MacIntyre has filed a civil lawsuit, he added.

But Gleason discounted the police explanation and said the force should investigate regardless. He said his client feared for his life after being beaten inside the jail and was likely too scared to file a formal complaint with police.

"He was brutally assaulted while he was in custody," Gleason said. "You can see why someone would be reticent in ratting out the culprits if he thought he was to be exposed to that again. Particularly where, whoever was in charge of him, failed to protect him."

The Ontario Ministry of Corrections, meanwhile, said in a statement to CBC News it will investigate whether proper procedure was followed when MacIntyre reported his injuries. The investigation will not examine his allegations against Ford and the ministry, however. 

The allegations against Ford have not been tested in court. The mayor's lawyer Dennis Morris said Wednesday the allegations are "without factual foundation."

Ford has 30 days to file a statement of defence.

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