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

Two hiking families team up to extinguish fire in Manning Park backcountry

Children and their parents worked for three hours to ensure safety of the popular hiking region

LETTER: Recreational angling has low-impact on Fraser salmon

Jason Tonelli writes about his displeasure at the call to close recreational fishing on the Fraser

Comedy, chicken poop and dancing at Lytton Festival

This year’s festival will honour longtime supporter Shirley James

Hope’s Wheeled Wild Women hit the road for cancer research

Group of friends ready for the 200-km bike trek that ends in Hope

PHOTOS: Paintings return to Kilby for fifth annual festival

The Plein Air Festival will be taking place at the historic site all weekend

Sts’ailes invites adults to become engaged in Halq’eméylem with new video series

‘Qw’oqwel te Qw’oqwel’ gives language learners an immersive way to learn Halq’eméylem

B.C. log export rules killing us, northwest harvester says

NorthPac Forestry says Skeena Sawmills has plenty of timber

Oppenheimer Park residents told to leave, clear out tents by Aug. 21

Police say park has seen influx of residents, violence in recent months

Vancouver man arrested after pregnant woman’s SUV stolen, then crashed

Police are recommending charges against a 22-year-old Vancouver man

Environment groups warned saying climate change is real could be seen as partisan

Talk of climate change could be viewed as advocating against Maxime Bernier, the leader of the People’s Party of Canada

Search crews find 4-year-old boy who went missing near Mackenzie

George went missing early Saturday afternoon

Most Read