Thousands offer support for victim of alleged gang rape
A 16-year-old girl who was allegedly gang raped in B.C. last weekend is receiving an outpouring of support on the same website where hurtful comments and pictures of the attack began circulating days earlier.
Mounties believe the girl was sexually assaulted by as many as seven men at a teen rave party in Pitt Meadows on Sept. 10. Photos of the incident were uploaded to Facebook, where users posted comments alleging the girl "asked for it" and branding her a "complete slut."
But others have come forward to offer kind words, and a group called "Support for 16yr old victim in Pitt Meadows" had gathered more than 2,950 members by Sunday afternoon.
"That which does not kill us makes us stronger," Chrissy Rombough-Morgan wrote. "Show them how strong you can be."
"Every morning when the sun rises you will awaken a stronger woman, and find courage and a dignity within yourself that you never knew you had," Angele Reynolds added.
But even in the support group, some have chosen to ignite debates about whether the teen girl consented.
"All we have is a rape kit, which can have varying results depending on the nature of the sex," Kelly King said in a group discussion. "You are all jumping to conclusions … you are all ready to serve up innocent people without any proof."
Police have adamantly denied such allegations. 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 also believe the girl was under the influence of drugs, but are awaiting the results of a toxicology report.
Meanwhile, authorities have been desperately trying to have the photos – 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.