Canadian Officials Express Outrage After Homeless Rape Victim Jailed For 5 Days With Rapist

Canadian officials express outrage after a homeless rape victim was jailed and forced to stay in jail with her rapist.

The Backstory

Canadian officials expressed their outrage after a homeless indigenous woman was sent to jail after being subjected to rape and forced to stay there with her rapist, Lance Blanchard.

The 28-year-old woman was attacked in an apartment in Edmonton back in 2014. When she decided to go to the police, because she was “not answering questions.” she was sent to jail, where she stayed in a holding cell next to her rapist for five days.

She also had to testify while in leg shackles. “I’m the victim and look at me, I’m in shackles.” she said in court. The judge present at the time was Raymond Bodnarek.

“You’re going to go back to remand tonight.” he told her, “so that we can get you back here tomorrow.”

“Shackles.” the woman said. “Aren’t you supposed to commit a crime to go to jail?” The woman was sent to jail on the grounds that she was a witness who was “refusing to answer questions.” The woman was reportedly falling asleep and struggled to focus during her testimony, which is what was considered “not answering questions.”

Blanchard was charged with kidnapping, unlawful confinement and aggravated sexual assault.

Responses To the Story

Kathleen Ganley, a Justice Minister in Alberta was outraged at how the woman had been treated, apologized to the woman and her family, and has ordered for the incident to be investigated.

“The facts of this case are disturbing and tragic, and when you add in the treatment of the victim in the system, they are almost incomprehensible.” she said. Ganley also added that “both policies and people failed in this case”.

After CBC carried out an investigation, Ganley said in a press conference, she said: “There weren’t any policies in place to indicate she shouldn’t have been shackled.”

Ganley also hinted that a reason why no one did anything about her mistreatment might have been due to her race. “Now, that being said, I’m a little surprised that no one looked at the case and said that this isn’t appropriate.”