In a news story out of northern Quebec, a young Indigenous woman from an Inuit village has filed suit against the police after she was left handcuffed in the back of a police cruiser where she was then raped.
The woman, who was 17-years-old when the incident took place, is suing for $400,000. The suit explains that she was knowingly left in the back of the vehicle with a repeat sexual offender, Joe Kritik, who then sexually assaulted her.
Unlike the woman who was assaulted, Kritik was not restrained or handcuffed in any way. The police knew this when they left him alone with the woman who was subsequently assaulted by Kritik.
“The plaintiff was unable to defend herself, being handcuffed in her back and unable to leave the vehicle, the doors being locked,” the suit alleges.
The suit says that the woman suffers from post-traumatic stress since the incident which took place in the lakeside community of Tasiujaq. The area is only accessible by airplane, snowmobile or boat, according to the lawsuit.
The suit specifically names the officer and the local police service chief as well as the regional government. It alleges “a serious lack of professionalism and gross negligence,” on behalf of the entire department, and additionally comments that the officers involved, “show[ed] an incredible lack of concern for the safety of the plaintiff.”
The man, Joe Kritik, had already been convicted of four sexual assaults at the time and was listed on the sexual offender registry.
The suit also alleges that the officer slammed the cell door in the woman’s face, once bringing her in. This resulted in her front tooth being broken. After all of that, no rape kit was performed and even though she was underage, her parents were not contacted.
An internal investigation cleared the officer of any wrong doing.