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

Just Posted

Bear goes out on a limb for Thanksgiving feast

Maple Ridge Bears group rallies to save animal

Flames drop two games on weekend

Ridge Meadows hosts Pilots on Friday

Pitt Meadows police review nearing recommendations

Report to council expected as soon as November

Letter: Time to resume work on election reform?

Last time, Trudeau promised a new system

First two days of advance voting up 25 per cent

Polls busy including Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge

VIDEO: B.C. man’s yard comes alive with grizzlies at night

Malakwa man has captured images of 12 different grizzlies on video

Fire response at Trans Mountain Burnaby tank farm could take six hours: audit

Site doesn’t have mutual aid response agreement with Burnaby fire department

A year after pot legalization in Canada, it’s a slow roll

It’s one year into Canada’s experiment in legal marijuana, and hundreds of legal pot shops have opened

ELECTION 2019: Climate strikes push environment to top of mind for federal leaders

Black Press Media presents a three-part series on three big election issues

ICBC willing to loosen grip on driver claim data, David Eby says

Private insurers say claims record monopoly keeps them out

B.C. principal suspended for failing to help student who reported inappropriate touching

Principal didn’t remove student from the teacher’s class nor call the parents within a reasonable time

Port Moody mayor goes back on unpaid leave during sex assault investigation

Rob Vagramov said he intends to return as mayor in three or four weeks

UBC issues statement after instructor tells students to vote for Liberal Party

University says partisan messaging was not intentional

Most Read