Healing lodge transfer under review for man who sexually assaulted girl, advertised her on Craigslist: victim's aunt
KITCHENER - The family of a girl says a healing lodge transfer is under review for the man who repeatedly sexually assaulted her when she was seven.
The victim's aunt has told CTV that she was informed of the man being moved to a medium security facility in Quebec as the Ministry of Public Safety reviews the transfer.
None of their identities can be revealed because of a publication ban in place to protect the victim, but the man was convicted last year of assaulting the girl and advertising her online.
The girl endured brutal sexual abuse for about nine months.
He pleaded guilty in 2017 and was convicted of sexual interference, pornography and voyeurism in February 2018. At the time that he pleaded guilty, court heard that he was the boyfriend of the child's mother.
He'd sneak the seven-year-old girl downstairs to assault her, inviting others to do the same through Craigslist.
The man was sentenced to 10 years behind bars. But 20 months later, the victim's family says they received notice from the parole board that he is being moved to an aboriginal healing lodge in Quebec.
"It's like a slap in the face that he's going to serve the last 10 years of his sentence in a healing lodge," the victim's aunt told CTV on Thursday.
Corrections Canada says they can't comment due to privacy issues, but documents provided by the child's aunt say the man was moved Wednesday to the Waseskun Healing Lodge, two hours north of Montreal.
"I speak up for her and all the children that this is happening to," the aunt says.
Last year, convicted child killer Terri-Lynne McClintic was transferred to a healing lodge in Saskatchewan.
She's one of the two people convicted of raping and murdering eight-year-old Tori Stafford.
That decision was reversed after a public outcry.
Stafford's mother, Tara MacDonald, believs the justice system needs to change.
"There should be a minimum of prison you've served before you're even eligible to be moved to something like that," she says.
The child's aunt agrees.
"It has nothing to do with being aboriginal," she says.
"If you commit a crime, your sentence should be in a jail. Especially crimes against children."
In a statement, the minister of public safety says that "the abuse of a child is odious and utterly reprehensible, and we can only imagine the pain of the victim and her family."
It goes on: "Minister Goodale welcomes CSC's review of the case and has asked the commissioner to examine whether all relevant policies were properly followed and whether those policies are the right ones for inmate management and public safety."
CSC says it is in contact with the victims in this case and is aware of the victims’ concerns. It says it is "closely reviewing this case."
The girl's aunt hopes the move will be reversed.