Goodale calls RCMP's interview with alleged sexual assault victim 'absolutely abhorrent'

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale is condemning the actions of an RCMP officer who, in a recently released video, asked a young woman who reported she’d been sexually assaulted whether she was “turned on” during the alleged attack.

The recording dates back to 2012 but was published by APTN News this week.Their story says the interview video was recorded after the minor reported a sexual assault while in the care of the B.C child welfare system.

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

The teen, whose identity has been protected, responds that she was “really scared.”

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said he was shocked and horrified by the video and asked Goodale in question period today if his department would be reviewing the incident.

“What was revealed in that video was absolutely abhorrent. The apparent attitudes and techniques that were on display in 2012 are profoundly outdated, offensive and wrong,” Goodale told the House of Commons.

“The RCMP and all police forces must work continuously to conduct themselves appropriately. No survivor of sexual assault should ever fear that their case will not be taken seriously or that they will be re-victimized in the process.”

A spokesperson for the minister’s office said any individual who feels that their case was not investigated properly can request that their file be looked at again at the detachment level, and they also can lodge a complaint with the Civilian Review and Complaint Commission.

No criminal charges were ever filed in the case. The RCMP wouldn’t comment on the specifics of the video, citing the Youth Criminal Justice Act and an ongoing civil lawsuit, but said an internal course on interviewing witnesses and victims was recently updated.

“New training for RCMP officers continues to be a priority. Training on myths surrounding sexual assault and consent law is already available to employees through the RCMP’s online learning portal.” said Staff Sgt. Tania Vaughan in a statement.

“Cultural competency training, trauma-informed investigations training and an advanced course for sexual assault investigators are under development. We are developing this training with subject matter experts in psychology, advocacy, and sexual assault investigations.”

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