‘Were you turned on by this at all?’: RCMP officer asks Indigenous youth during sexual assault report

This underage teenager was interrogated by police for more than two hours after filing a sexual assault complaint. Photo: Cullen Crozier/APTN

Holly Moore and Brittany Guyot
Video obtained by APTN Investigates shows a Kelowna RCMP officer interviewing an under-aged Indigenous teen for more than two hours after she reported a sexual assault while in care of the B.C child welfare system.

APTN is protecting the victim’s identity.

The youth is left alone with male officers throughout the two and a half-hour video from March 2012 and when female workers from the ministry are present, they are not supporting her except to offer her a hamburger.

According to a recent interview with the woman, the alleged sexual assault by an acquaintance was first reported to the youth’s foster parent who took her to hospital.

Kelowna RCMP constable interviewed the alleged victim for more than two hours

Police briefly interviewed her and then she was brought into the West Kelowna RCMP detachment the next day for questioning with two ministry workers.

She said a male officer immediately took her into an interview room and started to barrage her with questions.

“I felt very alone in there,” she told APTN. “There was no parental support for me there at all. I was terrified.”

“Were you at all turned on during this at all? Even a little bit?” the officer said. “You understand that when a guy tries to have sex with a female and the female is completely unwilling it is very difficult.”

In one exchange, he appears to question how hard she tried to fight during the alleged assault.

“Go over again with me how did you try and get him to stop,” he said. “Did you scream ‘no’ did you say ‘get off me’, did you say ‘this was rape? I need you to stop?’”

“I don’t remember, tried to get my legs around him to try and get him to stop,” she said.

“Okay… um I don’t know how that would work, if he’s having intercourse with you and your legs are flat.” the constable answered.

At one point the constable asks the teen if she is lying and if she knows the “seriousness” of what she is reporting.

“Do you know what could happen to people who are accused of that?” he said. “They could go to prison for up to 14 years.”

“You do understand making a report to police that is false is a crime,” he added that, “it’s not something we joke around with just so you know.”

He also accuse the teen of lying to avoid getting in trouble with her foster parents.

“Is one of the reasons why you came up with this is because you thought you might be pregnant and you thought you might need the pill?” he said.

“It’s because I had just gotten taken advantage of and I didn’t consent to it,” she answers.

The officer asks the teen why she asked the alleged perpetrator to wear a condom during the attack

“Because I already knew it was going to happen and there was no escaping it,” she said to which he answered  “what does that tell me about your level of consent and your level of denial?”

The officer also points out inconsistencies in her statements.

These included whether she told the alleged assailant “no” during the time when he was kissing her or when he was taking her clothes off.

He also asks her why she stayed in the assailant’s home and took the bus with him.

No charges were laid against the alleged perpetrator of the assault, something sadly unsurprising to the woman today.

“I think a lot of Aboriginal women can relate to this,” she said. “Maybe now that there is video evidence of how police treat victims something will be done about it.”

Punished for reporting assault

A statement of claim filed in March 2019 by the youth in the video claims she was punished for reporting that sexual assault.

Court documents obtained by APTN say social worker Siobhan Stynes, and the youth’s then-foster parents accused the youth of falsifying the incident “for an excuse for using drugs.”

It also alleges that “no meaningful investigations were carried out surrounding the circumstances of the sexual assault.”

Read More:

Social worker accused of punishing Indigenous youth for sexual assault allegation while in foster parent

B.C. social worker sought out Indigenous high risk youth because no one would adequately safeguard their interests says claim

The video was released as the result of a Notice of Application to disclose all investigation notes in a civil suit against the Ministry of Child and Family Development, social worker Riley Robert Saunders and supervisor Siobhan Stynes.

The lawsuits, including one class action, describe an alleged scheme where youth had joint bank accounts with Saunders and their funds were siphoned off, exposing the young people in care to homelessness, drugs and exploitation. The allegations have not been proven in court.

Watch: APTN Investigates reporter Cullen Crozier profiled some of the cases in Broken Trust.

APTN has reached out to the RCMP, Ministry of Children and Family Development, Robert Riley Saunders and Siobhan Stynes and has not heard back.


-with files from Cullen Crozier

14 thoughts on “‘Were you turned on by this at all?’: RCMP officer asks Indigenous youth during sexual assault report

  1. Mr. Socko says:

    Rcmp have psychological police training. They know exactly what to say & how to say it knowing it leads to suicide. They intentionally do things to kill us then cover it up. Just look at the highway of tears. 1969-2019 40 years & no arrests. Youtube lonny landrud then you’ll have all the answers. Just type his name on YouTube. He saw some RCMP doing certain things, they tried to kill him for it. That officer was never charged. The guy went into hiding. People are just to affraid to take on the rcmp. Watch his interview on YouTube. You’ll understand why

  2. What is happening to that RCMP officer? He needa to be fired IMMEDIATELY & told why.
    This is rape culture. That “officer” assaulted her as well.

  3. I’m not aboriginal, but I am a minority. I reported a similar crime to RCMP at age 11 and was given a similar interview. Wasn’t allowed to see my parents until after questioning was done. The whole thing was swept under the rug, and I followed up years later. They told me an error in paperwork, claiming my abuser was dead, was why they closed the case. The same officer informed me that this man was charged with two identical crimes against young girls in Paris, but because the crimes were committed outside of Canada, they weren’t admissible to court.

    All in all, I spent about 5 years of my time and money trying to get justice. It amounted to nothing… The man lived in a house where his wife ran a daycare, and after 11 years after the incidents, he was told not to be on the property while children were there for a whopping year. Once charged were dropped, he was free to continue to come and go as usual to the daycare.

    Canadian laws do not protect victims. Blame the officers all you want. The laws are a (expletive deleted) joke. Those officers are simply doing a job they are trained for. There is a reason people are calling for training. This is common place. This is what I experienced in Vancouver. This is the pathetic justice women receive in Canada, that CHILDREN receive in Canada.

    We have to do better.

  4. If this had been that rCMP member’s daughter we all know that NONE of these horrific comments /questions /INSULTS would have ever been even thought of, never mind actually being voiced on the record and on video. This is just unbelievable smh.

  5. The video is sickening. I’ve heard stories about how the RCMP treats indigenous youth but this is just sick. I hope to God that officer is not still interrogating young rape victims. I hope there’s follow-up on this story.

  6. What the…I almost threw up listening to the “officer” question that poor girl. Just sick.

  7. That6 insensitive, sick minded cop, … trying to get that poor girl to incriminate herself, … and getting his kicks out of getting her to talk about her experience, that is ground for dismissal, and possibly criminal charges. I sure hope he never gets to do that to anyone else ever again.

  8. This is disgusting. That officer should be fired and from the sounds of it, so should that social worker and his supervisor. That poor girl. I hope she understands now that NONE of that was her fault.

  9. So many pertinent details missing here. Was the perpetrator also underaged? Was he also indigenous?

    But one detail that makes the interrogating officer’s behaviour completely unacceptable and indefensible remains: the victim was underaged.

  10. Would they talk like this if the girl was white! I think not, so much for having a female in the room, what good did she do! All rooms should be recorded.

  11. This is absolutely appalling

    I am interested in helping achieve justice in cases against discrimnation and the shameful failure of our current social services system.

    I am a Social Service Worker Graduate. With plans to potentially gain my masters if interested please contact via me and I can provide my resumé
    And corresponding documents regarding my own personal experience.

  12. I’m so sorry, whoever this poor girl is, to have to go through something like this. To be looking for help, for support, to have the courage to speak up, and instead of finding comfort, be confronted and even blamed. I’m sorry, to anyone who has gone through anything like this.

    Sometimes, I really do want to make people like this cop suffer and very, very slowly. How could this monster live with himself after tearing apart an innocent victim like this? I’m ashamed to be a guy, and more and more every time I hear a story like this.

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