Victims of alleged child sexual assault said interviews with Lethbridge officials were “like a slap in the face”
A young woman in Lethbridge, Alta Province, said that she had been harassed by her mother’s ex-boyfriend when she was a child. During an interview with her statement, the police smiled and told her that he had never seen a historical sex Convicted in an assault case.
“It’s like a slap in the face,” said Allie, now 23.
“No care, no protection, nothing to me.”
CBC News referred to this lady as Allie-because her identity was banned from being published, her real name could not be used. The police officer was also not confirmed because he was not charged with any crimes under the Police Act.
With the support of Ellie’s mother, the case fell to the correct desk at the Lethbridge Police Department, and the sexual assault charge was finally filed.
Lethbridge Police Chief Shahin Mehdizadeh stated that the police officer’s actions are being investigated internally.
The person in charge said in a telephone interview with CBC News: “My instruction to the frontline staff is that you must treat everyone like your sister, your mother, your father, and your wife.”
Fifteen years ago, when Ellie was seven or eight years old, her mother was dating a man named Edmund Amit. In 2006, Allie’s mother broke up with Armit when he beat her son and strangled him.
“[Allie] Keep asking,’Are you sure he won’t come back, are you sure he won’t come back? ‘” said her mother.
Only when Ellie was sure that she would not be near Amit again, did she tell her mother that he kept asking her to have sex with him.
Allie’s mother immediately reported to the police, and the police launched an investigation.
Convicted of assaulting Ellie’s brother
At the same time, Amit was sentenced to two months’ imprisonment and a suspended sentence of 18 months for attacking Ellie’s brother.
In the end, the officials decided not to charge Amit, who was related to Ellie.
Since 2006, Ellie has been struggling with anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. She said: “I have been eating all these years.”
Allie said that when she was finally ready to go to the police station by herself last year, she called ahead so that when she arrived, the police would know that she was about to disclose several traumatic sexual assaults.
“Many times he just smiled”
Allie said that the police officer who accepted her statement boasted that he was a “traffic policeman,” and he drew his condemnation on the wall of the office.
“He has a very big conceit, very arrogant,” she said. “He’s just lying on the chair, as if he doesn’t care about the world… Many times he just smiled.”
Allie said that the police officer told her that in his career, he had never seen a historic sexual assault charge leading to a conviction, and he encouraged her not to pursue the case.
She said it took a lot of courage to go to the police station, but she felt embarrassed and was fired.
Her mother persisted and finally got in touch with a police officer who took the family seriously.
The crime team intervenes
The case was finally heard by the police squad. Armit was accused of sexual assault, sexual interference and sexual contact invitations. He was tried in November.
The incident with this police officer happened before Mehdizad became the police chief. He said that the police are working hard to ensure that complainants of sexual assault meet with members of the main crime team where possible.
As the investigation into the experience of Ellie and the police officer is ongoing, Mehdizad said that he can reveal limited information, but he hopes that his police officers will treat all vulnerable citizens with compassion.
“We hope all employees respect everyone and communicate with our citizens in a professional way.”
The person in charge said that if this does not happen, the admonition can be placed in the officer’s file and training opportunities can be provided.
Allie said her experience at the Lethbridge Police Department was not all negative. The officials she is dealing with now helped “simplify” the process.
“I love them,” she said. “They have always been very supportive.”