‘It was a violent attack’: Survivor speaks after ex-Toronto cop’s appeal is rejected
Warning: This story contains graphic details of sexual assault that readers may find disturbing. Discretion is advised.
Destiny Douglas leaves Osgoode Hall holding the hand of her partner, Chris Treasure.
They head for coffee after yet another day spent in court. This one should be their last.
“Over the last four years it’s been just a huge struggle, in and out of the courthouse,” said Douglas.
Now 23, she is able to finally speak publicly about the horrific sexual assault she endured when she was 19.
Douglas requested that the publication ban be lifted so that she can tell her story.
“It was a violent attack.. he came into my trailer and he raped me,” she said, followed by a deep breath.
Her attacker, someone she knew at the time, had been a Toronto police officer.
Roy Preston was fired by the Toronto Police Service after he was found guilty of assaulting a man and sentenced to 30 days in jail.
The assault in 2005 was captured on video.
Said Jama Jama, 21 years old, was punched in the face during a fight outside an Etobicoke doughnut shop at the start of Caribana.
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“He was a Toronto police officer at one point,” Douglas said. “I knew he knew the system and I knew how the system worked. So at first it wasn’t even a thought to press charges .. and then I couldn’t do it.”
The sexual assault happened on the evening of July 31, 2015 at a workplace event.
Douglas was newly employed by Cancom Security in Little Current, Ontario. There was a company barbecue and bonfire, and staff were invited to spend the night in trailers.
Court documents describe what happened next.
“After 2:00 a.m., he entered the trailer where she lay trying to sleep on a couch and subjected her to a prolonged sexual assault.”
“It was about two hours that I was held, I attempted to fight back, I was hurt in the process,” recalled Douglas, adding, “It was a violent attack. He had pushed my face into the pillow so I couldn’t talk or I couldn’t say anything; he had pulled my hair at one point.
“He was very aggressive.”
When it was over, she drove herself to hospital.
Roy Preston was convicted of one count of sexual assault and sentenced to three years in prison. He remained free on bail pending appeal.
His argument that the “trial judge failed to consider whether the absence of corroborating evidence in the Respondent’s case raised a reasonable doubt” was thrown out.
His defence lawyer attempted to argue that while Destiny Douglas described a “noisy sexual assault in which she cried and shouted multiple times,” two people sleeping 15 feet away reported hearing nothing.
Preston now begins serving his sentence. For Douglas, meanwhile, the assault has taken a toll.
“I’ve been very sick. I was diagnosed with PTSD about a year after the incident,” she recalled. “I spent two years isolated — I was scared to leave the house.” recalled.
But with the case now over, she says she is feeling some relief.
“Now I can breathe and I feel a lot better for sure, a lot better,” she said. “To sit in silence and not be able to speak of what has been done to me and it’s not just me, there are other women or other victims out there, even men, who have [been] victimized, who are not able to speak up.”
Destiny Douglas and her partner are spending the rest of their day enjoying Toronto as tourists, planning to return to Sudbury another day.
For now, they’re just taking in the sights, and Douglas said she is breathing the fresh air freely for the first time in four years.
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