Kelowna RCMP building on Richter Street (Photo by Steven Lin)

RCMP launch ‘fulsome review’ into 2012 Kelowna interrogation of sex assault victim

Kelowna RCMP under fire after video footage of an “abhorrent” interrogation

RCMP Deputy Commissioner Jennifer Strachan released a statement regarding concerns related to a 2012 Kelowna RCMP interrogation video.

The interrogation video went public in the middle of May and shows officers interrogating an Indigenous girl who was reporting an alleged sexual assault at the time.

“We agree that on the surface this case doesn’t appear to align with public expectations or the current standards and practices in place when addressing sex assault investigations and supporting victims. We also recognize that a negative experience with police investigators can bring more trauma to victims, and discourage others from reporting these crimes,” said Strachan’s statement.

“I can confirm that a fulsome review of the 2012 investigation is underway and we have engaged with various individuals and agencies that have expressed concerns.”

In the video, interrogators can be heard asking if she was “turned on … even a little bit” during the alleged assault and questioning how hard she resisted her attacker, against whom no charges were ever laid.

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale calls the interrogation techniques shown in the video “abhorrent” and “profoundly outdated, offensive and wrong.”

READ MORE: Kelowna RCMP under fire after video shows officer interrogating Indigenous girl who reported sex assault

Strachan said that though the RCMP are strengthening police training and awareness when it comes to sexual assault investigations, further comments on the 2012 case are limited.

“We understand and respect the concerns raised around a 2012 investigation and portions of a two hour interview that are public. We have had to limit our comments around the case due to restrictions under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, Privacy Act, an ongoing Criminal Code investigation and civil litigation proceedings,” her statement said.

The full RCMP statement can be found here.

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