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Day parole has been denied to a serial pedophile convicted of abducting and sexually assaulting two young Edmonton girls. Danial Gratton, who is 55, pleaded guilty to separately abducting and sexually assaulting the girls within days of each other in October
A young Saanich woman says she was left feeling disheartened and blamed after she told local police she had been sexually assaulted. Ashley, 19, who is using a pseudonym to protect her identity, waited more than a year to go to the Saanich Police Department SPD. She wanted to wait until she was 18 and could report without having her parents find out about the assault. The incident occurred at a small basement party near Maple Bay in Octoberwhere the then year-old got drunk for the first time.
Police documents released to Ashley and shared with Black Press Media state that Ashley and a young man were making out — something she was comfortable with initially.
But when they moved to a blow-up air mattress, Ashley says the man assaulted her, performing oral sex on her, followed by penetration. He said there would be no chance on it going to court because they would look at me as an under-age teenager who was just trying to fit in and be cool. The constable spoke to the suspect, who offered to make an in-person apology.
She felt emotionally defeated by the process. Ashley went to the media after reading about an October report from the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner OPCCwhich revealed a Saanich police officer was suspended for 20 days after counselling an alleged sexual assault victim not to report the incident to police.
Since then, Ashley said the constable on her file issued an apology to her through a liaison officer with the Victoria Sexual Assault Centre, where she receives counselling. Sexual assault cases face a lineup of gatekeepers including police, lawyers, judges and society in general. We have multiple players in the system that are maybe making rational conclusions based on our structurally flawed system.
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Carissa Ropponen, spokesperson for the Victoria Sexual Assault Centre, says accessing the criminal justice system is re-traumatizing for survivors of sexual assault, if they even make it that far. Andy Stuart of the SPD family protection unit told Black Press the majority of sexual assault files involving adults are handled by patrol officers — who may or may not have experience with that type of investigation.
But officers decide if there is enough evidence to submit a report to Crown. For Saanich police, the decision and details of the investigation must first be reviewed and ed off by a supervisor.
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This year, SPD added more oversight, with the family protection unit now reviewing each sexual assault file. Those officers check to ensure the individual was interviewed in an appropriate setting and offered resources for ongoing support.
Those crimes are difficult to prove at trial. The of sexual assaults reported to SPD has risen steadily — from to the average of sexual assault reports was Between and it was Statistics Canada notes that after the MeToo social media movement began, and as thousands of people shared survivor stories, more sexual assaults were reported in which the accused was known to the victim.
Police investigating sexual assault of year-old girl in saanich
Inthe of sexual assault incidents reported to police was higher than it had ever been since Going to police and having to recount the details of that trauma can be completely overwhelming. For members of marginalized communities, that process can be even harder.
People who have been over-policed and targeted and experienced harassment from police, may not see police as a safe place to go, she said. Ropponen and Stuart agree reform is needed.
Both called for alternative systems that work to heal and remedy injustice without pitting survivors against the accused in criminal court. Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? : nina. NinaGrossman Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
Saanich Police Department. Warning: Story contains details of sexual assault.
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