A lawsuit has been launched against the Kelowna RCMP officer at the centre of a controversial interrogation of an Indigenous woman who reported a sexual assault in 2012.
The woman, who was 17 at the time, is now suing Cpl. Kenneth Hall, as well as B.C.’s Minister of Justice and the Attorney General of Canada in a civil suit that the claims the interrogation was “brutal, degrading and dehumanizing.”
She originally went to police in Kelowna to report a sexual assault, but was instead interrogated for more than two hours.
In a video made public in May, Hall can be heard asking the young woman if she was “at all turned on” during the sexual assault she was reporting. The claim contends he breached her constitutional rights.
Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale called the interrogation techniques shown in the video “abhorrent” and Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett called it “disgusting.”
The woman, not publicly identified because of her age at the time of the incident, is seeking damages and claims the interrogation caused her serious injuries including post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and attempted suicide.
Court documents say she is still affected by the injuries, which led to permanent disability and the loss of past and future income.
The women’s claims have yet to be proven in court. The claim before the B.C. Supreme Court.
Hall has not spoken publicly about his actions in 2012 and, according to RCMP, is not available for media interviews.
But RCMP Deputy Commissioner Jennifer Strachan released a statement earlier this month commenting on the interrogation.
“We agree that on the surface this case doesn’t appear to align with public expectations or the current standards and practices in place when addressing sex assault investigations and supporting victims,” said Strachan in her statement.
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