A startling revelation came out in an Edmonton courtroom Thursday when an 18-year-old First Nation girl said she had been raped five days earlier but when police were called she was the one who got arrested. On top of that, no rape kit was performed until three days later.
It’s not immediately known where her alleged attackers are. The young woman can’t file a criminal complaint with police until she is released from custody.
The bombshell was dropped in Youth Court when the young woman, who APTN National News is not naming as of now, said she’d been raped at a west end motel on Sunday. She was bloodied, bruised and had a front tooth knocked out in the attack according to both her lawyer and a youth court worker.
She said she called her mom after the assault. Her mother called police who ran the girls name in their computer. They discovered she had an outstanding warrant for an arrest on an old outstanding breach as a minor. As part of her conditional discharge she was to write an apology letter and do 40 hours of community service. She never did for some reason so the police arrested her. They put her in jail.
When contacted, the Edmonton police said they couldn’t comment. Mark Cherrington works in youth and family court as a youth worker. He said he was blown away by what he heard in court. “She’s just hysterical and in tears. She’s just been totally traumatized,” said Cherrington, describing the young woman in court. Cherrington said she told police she had been raped but officers are alleged to have said that she could file a complaint after being released.
The remand centre was tripled-bunked so she ended up sleeping on the floor with two other women in a holding cell. No rape kit was performed Sunday. On Monday nothing was done. Finally, on Tuesday a rape kit was taken. She couldn’t bathe for three days for fear she’d wash away the evidence but also because prisoners in holding cells aren’t able to shower.
“She understands she can’t have a shower or bath Monday (or Sunday) because she needs to get a rape kit. Tuesday comes along and they bring her for a rape kit which [was] way beyond the recommended time,” said Cherrington.
Her lawyer is going to be filing a complaint with police. “This young woman told me that she had been sexually assaulted, did not have a rape kit done on her immediately, waited until Tuesday for the rape kit and, on top of that, five days she went without a shower,” said Parm Johal.
Cherrington said the test came back positive she had been raped. Johal said her client was at the motel with her boyfriend and they got into an argument and he left. She was befriended by two men and woman who were staying there. They invited her in to their room and she alleges they attacked her. She alleges that both men sexually attacked her and the woman physically assaulted her. Johal said it wouldn’t be hard for police to track them down because they would have had to give identification to get the room.
The young woman’s troubles don’t end there. She was kept in the remand centre Thursday and was supposed to be released Friday evening, said Cherrington. “I would go on the record that there are two levels of justice in this city. There’s Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal justice,” he said.