Facebook group defends men in alleged gang rape
As thousands flock to a Facebook group supporting a 16-year-old alleged gang rape victim from B.C., an opposing group has formed to question the veracity of her claims.
More than 7,200 people have joined the "Support for 16yr old victim in Pitt Meadows" group since it was created on Thursday, many offering kind words to the girl police believe was sexually assaulted at a rave party on Sept. 10.
"I hate with all my being what happened to you," Coralee Wiseman wrote. "All I can say is that you will move on from this a stronger woman and you will be whole again."
But an opposing group, "Reasonable doubt in Pitt Meadows," has also formed. Its description says it is "for the people who have yet to jump on the bandwagon headed out to lynch the men/boys involved."
"The police believe they have physical and medical evidence, but there is a difference between evidence used to arrest and evidence used to convict and the judicial process will determine what evidence there is and what it means," it reads.
Several members have claimed the girl voluntarily took drugs, lied to police and agreed to have sex with multiple partners.
Police have adamantly denied the sex was consensual. Insp. Derren Lench told reporters at a Friday press conference that "it's very clear from her physical injuries and her recollection of it and the evidence that we've collected that she was not a willing participant."
"It's very clear she was raped by more than one individual and there was no consent at all."
Police believe the girl was under the influence of drugs, but are awaiting the results of a toxicology report to determine what kind.
The girl's father says she has gone back to school. Teen counselor Tabasom Eblaghie says it's important for teachers and faculty to ensure her return is bearable.
School staff must watch over the alleged victim to ensure "there is an atmosphere of respect and that she can maintain her dignity," Eblaghie said.
"It might be good to bring an outsider in to provide perhaps information and education for the teachers, for the students, to be able to understand where she's coming from."
Meanwhile, authorities have been desperately trying to have photos of the incident that were posted online, and which constitute child pornography, scrubbed from the internet.
They have been collaborating with technical crime experts in Ottawa and Facebook staff directly, but say there's an uphill battle ahead and the photos may remain on the internet forever.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Julia Foy