A woman is suing a police officer who locked her in the back of a van with a convicted sex offender who then raped her in Canada.
The unnamed complainant was 17 when she was detained on 19 September 2011 in Tasiujaq, an Inuit village in northern Quebec, on suspicion of being drunk and disorderly.
The lawsuit, which names the officer involved as well as the local police service and the regional government, claims “a serious lack of professionalism and gross negligence” from the police and seeks $400,000 (£210,000) compensation, CBC Canada reported.
According to court documents, the officer from the Kativik Regional Police Force (KRPF) handcuffed the teenager and put her in the back of her van, where 24-year-old Joe Kritik was already sitting, without handcuffs.
Listed on Canada’s national sex offender registry, he already had four convictions for sexual assault, and when the officer stopped and left the vehicle, he struck again.
She returned to find Kritik “with his pants (trousers) down while on top of the plaintiff,” the claim statement reads. “The plaintiff was unable to defend herself, being handcuffed in her back and unable to leave the vehicle, the doors being locked.”
Despite the assault, the girl was kept in a police cell overnight and was not given medical attention, the lawsuit claims, and her parents were not contacted.
Kritik was sentenced to 39 months in prison after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting the victim in 2012, the Regina Leader-Post reported.
“The KRPF manifested a serious lack of professionalism and gross negligence by leaving an inexperienced police officer, with no knowledge or life experience of northern Quebec populations, and without the authorisation to carry a firearm, to ensure alone the security of the public,” the claim, uncovered by French-language Canadian newspaper La Presse, reads.
The victim, now 21, has symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, a psychologist’s report said. She has nightmares of the assault, will not leave home alone and is afraid of men.
“Her depression, loneliness and isolation are getting worse,” the psychologist wrote.
The constable was suspended and later resigned, CBC reported. An internal investigation by the KRPF cleared her of any criminal wrongdoing.