WARNING: This story contains graphic content. Discretion is advised.
CALGARY – A week after two brothers pleaded guilty to kidnapping and repeatedly raping a 17-year-old Calgary girl last November, police are clarifying questions about their father’s role in the horrific ordeal.
Corey Manyshots, 26, and Cody Manyshots, 22, pleaded guilty to four of five charges against them last Monday. The charges included kidnapping, uttering threats, sexual assault, and robbery. A charge of sexual assault causing bodily harm was withdrawn.
Last November the Grade 12 girl was taken from a northeast bus stop and dragged to a nearby alley where she was sexually assaulted. She was then forced into a Martindale home where she was repeatedly raped.
Manyshots’ father, Henry Whitford, sat in the living room with another man as they brought the young girl into the house. Court heard that the girl tried to look to the father for help, and he spoke to her, but no one intervened.
One detail of the case is causing backlash on social media, with many wondering why Whitford wasn’t also charged.
Twitter user Mike Ewanchuk asked, @NancyHixt will the family in the house face charges as well?
Elizabeth Suzanne replied to the story on Facebook, writing: “I don’t understand why the father isn’t charged as an accessory. Allowing this to happen in his home he is just as guilty.”
Police said charges against the father were considered.
“They did certainly consider it, but the Crown’s recommendation was that those charges would not be laid,” said Calgary police spokesperson Kevin Brookwell.
Criminal defence lawyer and former Crown prosecutor Balfour Der said the act of being in the room and not helping the girl isn’t in itself a criminal offence.
“The law requires there be two things for any offence: one, that you know about whatever is happening and two is that you are doing something to assist in forwarding the crime somehow, or you are actually doing the crime,” said Der.
“There’s a difference between moral guilt and legal guilt…If someone sees an offence happening, we’d hope any one of us would try to intervene, to assist someone. That’s the moral side of it.”
One forensic psychologist said the public shouldn’t be too quick to pass judgment.
“At the time, in the heat of the moment, we don’t know what this individual’s state of mind was,” said Dr. Patrick Baillie. “We don’t know if there were factors like sleeplessness, alcohol or anything else in his personal life that might have interfered with his judgment at the time.”
Whitford did not respond to a request made by Global News during the most recent court appearance for the Manyshots brothers.
Court heard two other adults and a child were also in the home when the young girl was abused.
The brothers will be sentenced in April; no further charges are expected in the case.
With files from Erika Tucker