West Kelowna RCMP officer focus of civil suit related to 2012 rape complaint - InfoNews

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West Kelowna RCMP officer focus of civil suit related to 2012 rape complaint

June 20, 2019 - 11:49 AM

KELOWNA - The 2012 police interview of an aboriginal teen in foster care that gained nationwide attention and the condemnation of politicians and women advocates alike, has become the subject of a civil suit.

A suit on behalf of the now 24-year-old woman claims that Cpl. Kenneth Hall worked with social workers to quash a rape complaint she made at 17 years old and failed to meet the expectations of people in the RCMP. Also named in the suit are the Attorney General of Canada and the B.C. Minister of Justice. This is in addition to the previous court filing against social workers Siobahn Stynes and Robert Riley Saunders.

“On or about March 5, 2012, the plaintiff was under the impression that at all times, her attendance at the RCMP detachment was in the capacity of a complainant reporting a serious sexual assault,” reads the civil suit filed this week. 

“However, Hall acting in agreement with Siobahn Stynes and an unknown social worker who were both employees of the Ministry of Children and Family Development and the Director of Child Welfare, treated the plaintiff as a suspect.”

The suit alleges that Hall interrogated the plaintiff in the “most malicious degrading and threatening manner” keeping with an agreement he struck with social workers, who the suit describes as “negligent individuals.”

“Hall acting in concert with the negligent individuals carried out no meaningful investigation and did not make any significant inquiries to the complaint brought forward by the plaintiff,” states the suit. “Hall and the negligent individuals use the degrading malicious interrogation as a punishment for the plaintiffs.”

The woman who is the plaintiff in this suit has previously spoken with iNFOnews.ca about the case at hand.

She said she had been on a bus home with an acquaintance and went home with him. While there, he sexually assaulted her. She told her foster parents the next day, and they took her to the hospital. Halfway through completing a rape kit, the nurses stopped. She went to the RCMP soon after and found out that they had thrown out the evidence that was taken. Then she went to the police station to give what she thought would be a statement.

“The malicious demeaning insulting and abusive interrogation of the plaintiff by Hall was reckless, misogynistic and arrogant departure from the standard expected of a professionally trained RCMP member,” the suit states.

It goes on to say that Hall intentionally, repeatedly used questions that amount to stereotyping of a sexual assault victim, which caused the plaintiff to doubt her complaint.

In video footage made public in recent weeks, Hall can be seen asking the teen whether she enjoyed the encounter with the man and he asked whether she felt pain during the assault — because, he said, that’s a sign of sexual assault. He also asks her if she knows how much a rape investigation costs.

“He intentionally used reprehensible suggestive questioning during the two-hour interrogation to undermine the confidence and the integrity of the plaintiff and caused her to speak against her interest,” reads the suit.

The suit alleges that the RCMP and Hall owed a duty of care to the plaintiff to ensure that if she was to be treated as a suspect in a criminal investigation that she was provided her constitutional rights. The suit claims that the RCMP failed to properly train Hall in the handling of sexual assault complaints. The suit claims that the teen's Charter Rights were breached when she was treated as a suspect, not a victim. She should have been informed of the reasons why she was detained and been provided, legal counsel.

In the aftermath the teen suffered damages, PTSD, diminished self worth, diminished ability to concentrated, repeated and ongoing nightmares. Depression anxiety, difficulty in coping with stress, suicidal ideation, attempted suicide, feelings of guilt and more.

They are seeking an undisclosed amount of damages.

RCMP have said a “fulsome review” of the incident would be conducted.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Kathy Michaels or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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