Teen victim of sexual assaults pleads guilty to role in murder of one of her abusers
WARNING: This story contains graphic, disturbing details
A teenage girl who was repeatedly sexually assaulted by at least three men, including her father, has pleaded guilty to her role in the gruesome murder of one of her abusers.
CBC News will identify the girl as Krista in order to comply with a publication ban under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
In 2017, the girl was 15 years old and dating Dylan Howard, who was 21 at the time.
"Given the disparities in their ages, [Krista] was a victim of ongoing sexual offences by [Howard], although at the time she was factually a willing participant," according to an agreed statement of facts presented at Krista's guilty plea on Friday.
The couple was addicted to drugs and their dealer was Fazal Rehman, a 36-year-old who also sexually victimized Krista in exchange for meth.
On Oct. 16, 2017, the couple lured Rehman to a rural location where Howard shot, stabbed and set fire to Rehman.
Originally charged with first-degree murder, Krista pleaded guilty Friday to conspire to commit the murder after defence lawyer Andrea Urquhart and prosecutor Mac Vomberg worked out a deal.
The details in this story come from an agreed statement of facts presented to Court of Queen's Bench Justice Robert Hall, who accepted Krista's plea.
Krista's father sent to prison
Krista's childhood was difficult.
Her father had been convicted of sexual assaults against her. At the time, she was living with her mother and stepfather.
When she attended school, she was described as bright and pleasant.
But Krista dropped out, and by the summer of 2017, she had developed a significant drug addiction, most significantly to methamphetamine.
Howard and Krista were, by then, in a relationship.
Rehman assaults Krista
From June to October, both the relationship and Krista's drug habit intensified.
Over the summer, the couple met Rehman, a drug dealer.
Rehman sold them drugs. They sold him guns.
Rehman, who was 36 years old at the time, began giving Krista drugs in exchange for sexual services.
"All sexual activities between him and Krista were significant sexual assaults perpetrated on her," reads the agreed statement of facts.
Couple lures victim to rural area
Krista was "extremely upset" about being sexually assaulted by Rehman, according to the document.
She and Howard, who she lived with at the time, began plotting to kill Rehman as revenge.
In the early morning hours of Oct. 16, 2017, the pair began texting Rehman, luring him to their home. They told him they wanted to buy a significant amount of meth from him and would sell him guns. They also made it clear that Rehman could take Krista to a hotel for sex.
As Rehman drove toward the couple at the arranged rural meet-up location, Krista's boyfriend shot him with a hunting rifle she had stolen from her mother's home.
Rehman got out of his car and Krista's boyfriend shot him again.
Howard pleads guilty to murder
Howard walked up to his victim and stabbed him in the chest.
The killer then poured the flammable fluid — believed to be a mix of diesel and gasoline — in and over Rehman's vehicle and over the victim. He then set both on fire.
It could not be determined if Rehman was still alive at the time he was set on fire
Krista remained in Howard's vehicle during the murder.
The next day, Krista confessed to a friend the details of Rehman's death.
Ten days after the murder, Howard was arrested and confessed to the killing. He pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in September 2019 and was handed a life sentence.
Krista continued to tell people about Rehman's killing, providing details that hadn't been released to the public.
Howard was in custody by then, and despite a no-contact order, the couple continued to speak with each other over the phone.
Despite warnings that their calls were being monitored, they repeatedly discussed the homicide and planned to blame it on a fictitious person named "Ace."
Krista is currently out on bail.
Pre-sentence reports have been ordered and a sentencing hearing will take place later this year.