NWT RCMP under fire again for taking sexual assault victim to jail rather than hospital - APTN NewsAPTN News

NWT RCMP under fire again for taking sexual assault victim to jail rather than hospital


Charlotte Morritt-Jacobs
For the second time in two years, the RCMP in the Northwest Territories is being criticized for how it handled two victims of sexual assault.

In a recent case, a 13-year-old girl was taken to jail after she had been sexually assaulted.

Wade Kapakatoak pleaded guilty to the assault and convicted.

The assault was captured on a surveillance camera in the back alley at a Yellowknife movie theatre.

When police arrived, they were told by a theatre employee that she had been sexually assaulted.

Officers said she was arrested for public intoxication and spent the night in jail rather than being taken to the hospital.

In a written ruling, the judge in the case criticized the RCMP for how they treated the victim.

“I am unable to imagine the circumstances which would justify this type of treatment of a victim of sexual assault,” wrote Justice Garth Malakoe. “It appears the victim was not treated with dignity and compassion that she or any victim of sexual assault deserves.”

The RCMP declined an interview request from APTN News.

Instead, a statement was provided.

“Our review is looking at how we applied our policy and training, and the totality of the circumstance,” wrote RCMP media relations official Marie York Condon. “We will be looking at our interactions with the victim during and after, and any support services offered.”

The victim did not attend the trial.

Kapakatoak will be sentenced October 10.

This situation mirrors an incident in 2014 when the RCMP took a 13-year-old girl in Hay River, NWT to jail after she told officers she had been sexually assaulted.

The information came out in the 2016 trial of Cody Durocher.

According to police, she had violated her probation.




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2 Responses to “NWT RCMP under fire again for taking sexual assault victim to jail rather than hospital”

  1. arleneh10@hotmail.com'
    Arlene Hache September 8, 2018 at 1:03 am #

    This is a pattern of RCMP behaviour so the default position of more sensitivity training is tiring and a red herring put out there to excuse racist and sexist attitudes targeting Indigenous women in particular. The RCMP once arrested a Nunavut woman living in BC because she refused to testify in court against a man who brutally raped her. The RCMP transported her across Canada moving her from jail cell to jail cell and ultimately transported her to the court in the same van as the man who raped her. We need a community-based watchdog. The United Nations recommended Canada hire and train Indigenous women to provide legal advice and support to Indigenous women specifically because of racism and discrimination they have faced with the legal system in the NWT and Nunavut. The federal and NWT government refuse to implement that recommendation.

  2. deedeej@hotmail.ca'
    D September 7, 2018 at 10:26 pm #

    There is no excuse for the RCMP actions, this happens too often