Instagram messages show B.C. teen accused of sex assault was ‘set up,’ court rules

-. (Photo Illustration by Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

WARNING: The story contains explicit details that may be disturbing to some readers

A B.C. judge has ruled that a teen accused of sexual assault was “set up” after reviewing messages on Instagram.

Justice Patrick Chen acquitted the teen who’d been accused of assaulting a female classmate in 2019 when they were both 16 years old.

According to the April 9 judgment, the girl claimed two friends had her phone when the accused — referred to as H.S.S. — sent messages via Instagram to meet her in a school bathroom.

Click to play video: 'RCMP say ‘no evidence’ to support social media rumours about missing B.C. women'
RCMP say ‘no evidence’ to support social media rumours about missing B.C. women

She said her friends encouraged her to meet with him, but did not give a reason why. She also said she didn’t check her messages when she got her phone back before going to the meeting.

Story continues below advertisement

Once in the bathroom, she said the accused “held her face in his hands and started kissing her.” She testified that “she was confused and nervous because, up to that point, she had no idea what the Accused’s intentions were.”

She said the accused grabbed her buttock, touched her breast and then pulled out his penis without her consent before she left the bathroom.

Click to play video: 'Three teens plead guilty in St. Michael’s sex assault scandal'
Three teens plead guilty in St. Michael’s sex assault scandal

The girl said she exchanged messages with the accused before and after the incident.

According to the ruling, she testified that “after taking screenshots of the messages she considered ‘relevant’ and sending those to the police, she deleted the entire rest of the conversations between her and the accused from her phone.”

Among the relevant messages was one the accused sent after the incident, saying he is “deeply sorry.”

Story continues below advertisement

The girl said she deleted the rest of the conversation from her account.

The accused testified that he and the girl engaged in French kissing and other intimate acts, saying she was a “willing and active participant in everything that took place.”

A series of 2,000 messages were submitted as evidence.

“These messages, read as a whole, seemed to indicate a mutual and enthusiastic interest, by both the accused and the complainant, in meeting in person for the purposes of a sexual encounter,” Chen wrote.

Read more: Alberta judge overturns teen sex charge acquittal, said trial judge used stereotypical reasoning

Chen ruled that the girl’s testimony was implausible and contained “severe and significant internal inconsistencies.”

The girl said her sister had exchanged messages with the accused without her knowledge, but Chen said the complainant “offered no reasonable explanation as to why her sister would engage in such conversations behind her back, without disclosing or discussing them with her, by logging into the complainant’s Instagram account and pretending to be her.”

Read more: Teen sexually assaulted on Victoria transit bus, police seek witnesses

“I have serious concerns regarding the Complainant’s truthfulness. In my view, the Complainant’s evidence makes no sense. It does not have the ring of truth or even the air of reality,” Chen wrote.

Story continues below advertisement

“In my view, even the evidence of the Complainant leads to the inescapable conclusion that the accused was indeed ‘set up,'”.

Sponsored content