Indigenous female victim of sex assault sues B.C. RCMP officer for his repulsive question in interview

An RCMP patrol vehicle. (CKLB file photo.)

An Indigenous woman is suing an RCMP officer in British Columbia over a “malicious, degrading” and “victim blaming” interview she gave while reporting a sexual assault in West Kelowna in 2012.

That interview, described as an “interrogation” in the suit, sparked national outrage last month when video surfaced revealing the questioning officer asking: “Were you at all turned on during this at all, even a little bit?”

B.C.’s minister of justice and the attorney general of Canada are also named in the suit.

The victim’s lawyer says the lawsuit was filed because it’s obvious from anyone objectively looking at the video that the officer’s conduct was egregious and harmful.

He adds that he doesn’t always agree with the RCMP but that they are professional in the way that they carry out their duties.

He says the behaviour of that officer on the on the video is a marked and total departure.

Canada’s Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale has called the video “absolutely abhorrent,” while B.C.’s Minister of Children and Family Development Katrine Conroy called it “heart-wrenching” and “appalling.”

The B.C. RCMP has promised a “fulsome review” of the incident.

The officer’s current job status with the Mounties has not been made public.

It’s not the first time RCMP have been accused of mistreating an Indigenous sexual assault victim.

Yellowknife RCMP came under fire when two officers were not disciplined after they locked up a female Indigenous victim of sexual assault in 2017.

About the Author

John McFadden
John has been in the broadcast journalism industry since the 1980s. He has been a reporter in Yellowknife since 2012 and joined CKLB in January of 2018. John covers the crime and court beat as well as reporting on other areas including politics, business, entertainment and sports. He won seven national community newspaper awards while he was a journalist with Northern News Services Limited (NNSL). John worked in Ontario before coming North including stints as a TV sportscaster in Peterborough and senior news writer for CBC and CTV in downtown Toronto.