Gatineau police said they contacted a woman Thursday afternoon who told the story The press that his complaint against comedian Philippe Bond for sexual assault in 2007 was not taken seriously by a police officer.
“We encourage the victim to come and meet with us and we have contacted her. We will be in touch with her to see where she is and if she would like to make a complaint. If this is the case, we will of course prepare an incident report and forward it to our specialist sexual assault investigators,” Gatineau police spokeswoman Renée-Anne St-Amant said.
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The applicant told the daily that Bond forced her to perform oral sex in the toilets of the Casino du Lac-Leamy hotel. Two weeks later, she decided to file a complaint, but she said the police officers she met were mainly concerned about the impact on the comedian’s career. So she left.
Another woman cited in this investigation said she was subjected to similar treatment when she tried to report Philippe Bond to the Service de Police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM).
Roger Ferland, former head of investigations into child prostitution at the Quebec police and professor of police techniques, recalls that the frontline police officer has a duty to forward the file to the specialized investigators.
“We tell the patrol that if anyone is speaking to them about sexual assault, you step back and call investigators to avoid burning the file. »
Former Detective Sergeant Lorraine Leblanc, who worked for 15 years in the SPVM’s sex crimes investigation division, agrees.
“It’s not the fault of the police [en première ligne] to assess whether or not it constitutes sexual assault. »
Mr Ferland added that the social status of the person targeted by the allegations should not in any way affect the police officer’s work.
“I hope that in 2022 nobody will do that and I hope that hasn’t happened. »
However, the Philippe Bond case shows once again how difficult it is for a sex crime victim to report their attacker.
It sometimes takes weeks, months, and even years to convince yourself to meet a police officer, says Deborah Trent, executive director of the Montreal Center for Victims of Sexual Assault.
“You have to put yourself in the mind of a victim who needs to go to a counter in a police station and talk to a stranger to tell him an intimate story that he’s likely to judge himself for. It takes insane courage. »