Don't share photos of gang-rape: victim's father
Published Friday, September 17, 2010 9:56AM PDT Last Updated Friday, May 18, 2012 11:43PM PDT
The father of a 16-year-old girl who was gang-raped by as many as seven males at a Pitt Meadows party wants other teens to stop making his family's suffering worse.
Police and parents have been powerless to stop the spread of graphic photos of the sexual assaults, which have gone viral on Facebook and on cell phones, while other teens continue to make vicious, untrue statements about the victim online, said the father.
"The rape continues with all the photos and comments on Facebook," said the father, who CTV News has declined to name because that would identify the victim of a sexual assault. "It makes me sick."
"I want to appeal to parents to look at their kids' computers and cell phones. Delete these pictures if they have them, not for the fear of being arrested, but because it's the moral and ethical thing to do," he said.
He said his daughter went to the party at a residential acreage at 12993 Harris Road Friday night with several hundred other people, both teens and adults.
The father said her friends and had a safe meeting spot just in case anyone got lost. Somehow his daughter was separated from the group, and when her friends met up at the meeting spot she wasn't there.
Police say the girl had been drugged, taken to a nearby field, and repeatedly raped by as many as seven boys and men. Several people watched as the drugged girl was assaulted and took pictures.
Police were shocked by several posted comments that suggested the gang rape was consensual.
"I have never ever seen anything like it," Cpl. Jennifer Hyland told a Thursday morning press conference. "It's disgusting. I'm not saying it's not happened before, but morally, in this community, the comments that are being said about his victim and the insinuations that are being made…when we have the physical and medical evidence about the injuries this girl's suffered…it's disgusting to read what these youth are posting and even more disgusting that the photos are being shared and put onto more sites. I've never seen anything like it."
She said many youths contacted by police were uncooperative when asked to stop distribution of the photos. They continue to be distributed through social networking sites such as Facebook, and on Blackberrys and iPhones.
One boy has been arrested and charged with the production of child pornography.
The victim's father said he had been told by police that more charges are in the works for the rape itself.
He said the victim has little memory of the attacks, but had seen the pictures, which she found incredibly disturbing.
"I wouldn't want to see any parent go through this with their daughter. It's life changing," he said. "It's something that's going to be with us for the rest of our lives."
He said for now he is focussing on helping his family. But he also said that he will be exploring legal options for a potential lawsuit against the owners of the property for allowing the crime to take place on their property.
Records show the property is owned by Davinder and Amrik Mahal, who are the listed directors of Pitt Meadows Enterprises, which has several online posts describing the company as blueberry farmers.
A reporter from CTV News visited their residence, but even though people were inside the house, no one came to the door.
The girl's father says his daughter has not been to school but is hoping to return next week. He believes she is a strong young woman and will eventually bounce back.
"Until I die I will fight this battle for my daughter," the father said. "We will get through it."
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Jon Woodward