RCMP had visited gang rape property before
Mounties say they were called to the property where a teenage girl was allegedly gang raped a week before the assault took place to check on another youth party -- but saw no reason to intervene.
Insp. Derren Lench told reporters on Friday that police were alerted to a party at 12993 Harris Road on Sept. 3.
"Our members did go, made numerous patrols and did find a party," Lench said, adding that officers saw no obvious illegal activity or cause for concern.
"There was security guards there, things seemed to be under control. There were parents that came to pick up their children," he said.
The following weekend, a 16-year-old girl who police believe was under the influence of drugs was allegedly raped by multiple men while others watched or took photos.
Lench said the victim, who cannot be identified under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, is doing as well as can be expected. "Given the circumstances and her age, she's a trooper. She's 16 years old and gone through something that none of us could ever wish upon anyone."
Two people have been arrested so far in connection with the rape: an 18-year-old high school graduate who is facing a charge of sexual assault and a 16-year-old suspected of taking photos of the rape and uploading them to Facebook.
Both have been released; neither have been charged.
Lench said police should have more suspects identified by next week, but it could be another month before actual charges are laid.
Investigators are "extremely engaged" in the case, Lench said, but want to ensure a "thorough, professional investigation" is completed first.
Self-described event organizer Jared Deptuck told CKNW radio that he organized the party, and objected to it being termed a "rave."
"This is just a little barn we're having it at. Just a gathering, just for friends," he said.
Deptuck also said that no drugs or alcohol were allowed on the property.
Meanwhile, police have been desperately trying to have the photos scrubbed from the internet, collaborating with technical crime experts in Ottawa and Facebook staff directly.
Officers also visited four Maple Ridge high schools on Friday to warn students that distributing or downloading the pictures is a crime.
Retired Det.-Sgt. Dave Perry, formerly of the Toronto Police sex crimes unit, told CTV's Canada AM Friday that such individuals could face charges.
"They're committing a criminal offence because they're making and distributing child pornography, so they are committing a criminal offence. Anyone who downloads, saves it or distributes it in anyway is the subject of a criminal charge," Perry said.