British Columbia

B.C. rave rape charges stayed

Charges of sexual assault against the man accused of sexual assault at a notorious Pitt Meadows, B.C., rave have been stayed.

Only man charged in alleged gang rape of teen goes free

Police have maintained that about half a dozen men were involved in the sexual assault of a 16-year-old girl at a rural B.C. rave in September 2010. (RCMP)

Crown prosecutors have dropped charges against the only man accused of sexual assault at a notorious Pitt Meadows, B.C., rave, the man’s lawyer says.

Colton McMorris, 19, was accused of assaulting a girl, 16, at a party in September 2010, while a young offender was charged with posting pictures of the incident — described at the time as a gang rape — on the internet.

Another man, Dennis John Allen Warrington, 19, was charged with distributing child pornography.

Lawyer Tony Serka said the Crown admitted in Port Coquitlam provincial court Tuesday that it did not have a strong enough case against McMorris to proceed with a trial.

"There wasn't any substantial likelihood of conviction from the start of this case," Serka said outside the courtroom.

"There wasn't a gang rape, in fact. And [McMorris's] family is happy, not because my client is getting off something that he did, but that he was innocent and they believed him and everybody who knew him believed his innocence right from the start."

Police said during their initial investigation that as many as half a dozen men may have been involved in the assault and that the victim had been drugged.

Conflicting accounts

McMorris did nothing wrong and accompanied the complainant and her friends to McDonald's after the party, Serka said.

Serka said the charges have ruined his client's reputation: "That can never be erased. That can never be taken away."

After McMorris and Warrington were charged in January, the alleged victim released a statement through police, calling the September incident and the aftermath a "terrible ordeal."

Her family released a statement at the same time.  

"We are pleased to hear of Crown approving charges against these men," the statement read. "There has never been any doubt in our minds that our daughter was sexually assaulted."

In January, the young offender who posted the pictures on Facebook was sentenced to one year's probation. 

With files from the CBC's Jason Proctor