A reported sexual assault at CFB Esquimalt will not see the inside of a court room. BC Prosecution Services confirmed it is not moving ahead with charges. (BlackPress file photo)

No charges laid in reported sexual assault at Canadian Forces Base on Vancouver Island

Reporting sexual assault hugely important, says Ending Violence B.C.

The case of an alleged sexual assault at CFB Esquimalt near Victoria will not be heard in court.

While investigators from the Canadian Armed Forces Military Police recommended charges, B.C.’s Crown Prosecution Service will not be pressing charges in the case of a reported sexual assault at the naval base last fall.

“After a full and careful review of all the evidence gathered by the investigative agency, the reviewing Crown was unable to conclude that the charge assessment standard had been met and no charge was approved,” said Dan McLaughlin, communications counsel for the BC Prosecution Service.

In B.C., Crown applies a two-part test to any case brought forward. That test measures if there is a “substantial likelihood of a conviction” and if so, “whether the public interest requires a prosecution.”

McLaughlin said the first standard wasn’t met in the CFB Esquimalt case.

RELATED: Active investigation into reported sexual assault at CFB Esquimalt

Still, the fact the Oct. 5 allegation was reported at all should be commended, said Tracy Porteous, executive director at Ending Violence B.C.

“Very few survivors report sexual assault for a myriad of good reasons, from [being] worried they won’t be believed, worried they will be blamed, worried that they will be shamed…” Porteous said. “The only way that we are going to be able to decrease the amount of sexual assault that’s taking place in our society is for survivors to come forward.

And that isn’t to say that every survivor should come forward – we only want those who feel that they have the means and the confidence and the support to do so,” she added. “But I think it’s important for us to acknowledge and appreciate and respect those that do.”

Details of the case are not available since no charges were laid, but Porteous said she has a deep respect for the woman who reported.

“She came up against a hugely strong institution,” Porteous said. “She might have had all kinds of fears of retribution or not being believed … and she came forward anyways.

I hope somebody is working with the survivor and helping her understand that Crown’s decision not to go forward has nothing to do with her credibility … or the believability of her [story].”

RELATED: Feds respond to sexual assault investigation at CFB Esquimalt

In Canada, sexual assault has some of the lowest reporting rates, in part due to common knowledge that cases are frequently dropped before they can get to court.

“I think anytime a survivor comes forward and feels let down by the system that she is seeking help from has the potential to send a message to other survivors to say, ‘don’t bother,’” said Porteous. “But it’s always worth coming forward to let the system know about a dangerous person out there.

She may have done the greatest service that she could have possibly done for Canadians by coming forward.”

READ ALSO: Canadian Armed Forces to change approach to sexual assault investigations

READ ALSO: Saanich man convicted of sexual assault once behind non-profit fighting ‘sexually exploitative behaviour’



nina.grossman@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Search and rescue crews continue to look for missing Black Creek hiker

Searchers scouring Strathcona Park near Gold River for experienced 65-year-old on 40-kilometre trek

West Coast Hockey Prep Camp returns to Port Alberni, a little smaller

Prep camp owners rolling with COVID-19 changes, including smaller classes

A LOOK BACK: Port Alberni’s fireboats

Delve into the city’s past with the Alberni Valley Museum’s online digital archives

Vancouver Island communities receive gov’t funding for infrastructure projects

Huu-ay-aht First Nations builds community with $1.8M grant, one among six on Island

Island poets take the mic at July’s virtual Words on Fire in Port Alberni

Jude Neale, Joe Lunchbucket bring distinctly different styles to Quite Determined Literary Road Trip

Police issue warning after baby comes across suspected drugs in Kamloops park

The 11-month-old girl’s mother posted photos on social media showing a small plastic bag containing a purple substance

Collision results in train derailment just east of Golden

The derailment occurred Sunday night, according to a statement from CP

Lower Mainland woman says llama farming neighbour shot her 11-month-old pup

Young dog was on owner’s Maple Ridge property when it was killed on June 21

B.C. records 31 new cases, six deaths over three days due to COVID-19

There are 166 active cases in B.C., 16 people in hospital

B.C. highway widening job reduced, costs still up $61 million

Union-only project scales back work to widen Trans-Canada

Greater Victoria nanny pleads guilty to child porn, sexual interference charges

Johnathon Lee Robichaud pleaded guilty to slew of sex crimes

Most Read