British Columbia

Surrey RCMP sued for ignoring concerns that allegedly led to woman's sex assault

The lawsuit blames an RCMP officer for not believing the story of how she was allegedly held against her will and violently assaulted.

Woman claims police took no action to ensure she was safe

A woman has filed a lawsuit against a Surrey RCMP constable for allegedly failing to act after telling police she had been violently assaulted. (Robert Short/CBC)

A woman has filed a lawsuit against a Surrey RCMP officer for allegedly failing to act on an extensive, six-hour interview she gave describing how she had been held against her will and violently assaulted.

The woman blames the officer's inaction and negligence for a subsequent assault a few weeks later in which she says she was raped and badly physically injured.

Neither the woman, the man she had a relationship with, nor the police officer — Constable Jane Doe — can be identified for privacy reasons.

Her statement of claim contains allegations that have not been proven in court.

A violent relationship

In documents filed in B.C. Supreme Court, the woman says that in 2010 she began a relationship with a man who has a lengthy, criminal past and who is now the subject of a dangerous offender hearing.

The woman says the police were at all times aware of the man's violent history.

In the court documents, she says that over the next few months she was physically assaulted and threatened by the man, leading her to, at one point, call 911. The documents say the man was arrested for assault, but released after the woman recanted her accusation. The woman alleges she did so because the man had threatened her.

Once the man was released, the woman said the violence started again, and she eventually went to the Surrey RCMP. In February 2011, her statement says she told Constable Jane Doe she had been held against her will for nearly two weeks, assaulted and forced to attend bank robberies.

After a six-hour video-recorded statement, the woman alleges the constable told her she didn't believe a word the woman had said and told her to leave the police station. 

Shortly after, the woman says she started working as an escort in Surrey, and alleges the man became aware of her and arranged a date while posing as someone else. 

When she arrived for the date, she says the man again held her against her will and violently assaulted and raped her before she managed to escape in her underwear, screaming for help.

The statement of claim also says the man shot and injured a police officer responding to the incident.

The woman says she has suffered post-traumatic stress disorder, clinical depression and a litany of physical injuries to much of her body.

The claim alleges the constable not only failed to investigate the complaint, but failed to take any steps to ensure the woman's safety.

The woman is seeking damages for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, medical expenses and loss of wages, among other costs.