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Mother of alleged sexual assault victim defends Anonymous video identifying alleged perpetrator

HALIFAX – “She wants to forget. She wants to see something other than that night.”

A Nova Scotia mother is speaking out saying she wants justice for her 18-year-old daughter, who alleges she was the victim of a rape on Halloween night at a frat house in Halifax.

READ MORE: Alleged sexual assault at Halifax frat house leads to bold accusations by Anonymous

The mother says her daughter was too emotional after the trauma to give a statement to police, which meant an official investigation could not begin.

That’s something that doesn’t sit well with her mother.

“In the condition that the police and paramedics seen her and knew that she was raped, why couldn’t they go and question him or talk to him or even take the evidence?” the woman told Global News.

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The woman, whose identity Global News is withholding in order to protect her daughter’s identity, says her daughter has been deeply affected by the events and that she attempted to take her own life and has since left school.

She also says she didn’t feel police or the justice system was offering any support.

“When I wasn’t getting any answers and [police] weren’t telling me anything, I reached out to Anonymous because I was so angry,” she said.

After reaching out to Halifax Nova Scotia Anonymous, the online activist group released a video where they not only named the person they allege is the perpetrator, but also included photos and his phone number.

READ: Victim of alleged sexual assault at Halifax frat house to proceed with investigation after Anonymous video

Halifax Regional Police have said the comments posted under the video on social media prompted them to reach out to the young woman, who by then had changed her mind and was willing to give a statement.

She met with officers and gave a statement last Thursday and police confirm the investigation is ongoing.

“In this particular case, there was indication the victim had changed her mind we were aware of that,” said spokesperson Theresa Rath.

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“However, we had already planned to contact the victim again so this just proves that you do sometimes need to let time pass, you need to let the victim to think about what they’ve been through and whether or not they wish to proceed.”

Police response

Rath says it was not possible to launch the police investigation without the young woman’s statement.

“In this case, it really was about heresay. We were getting information third hand about what may have happened. We need verifiable information and we did not have that,” she said.

Police have called Anonymous’ video “irresponsible” because it accuses someone of a serious crime before a police investigation. Rath also says police act based on evidence and within the confines of the law, and will not allow “public pressures or threats or intimidation” factor into their investigation.

“We do believe they’re acting with the best of intentions what they might not realize is they could in fact be jeopardizing the police investigation,” Rath said.

However, the mother who reached out to Anonymous doesn’t regret the video and defends it.

“If I could do this video again, I would,” she said.

“What I hope would happen is that these people will start thinking twice because we might be standing behind them and telling them it’s not right.”

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The Halifax Nova Scotia Anonymous group also stands by their video and vows to continue naming people they allege are responsible for sexual assaults.

 

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