Last Updated: February 1, 2011 11:20pm
Barrhaven residents are seething after learning a rape claim by a neighbourhood teen was bogus.
Police announced Tuesday they have closed the books on the sexual assault investigation, saying rape claims made by the girl are “unsubstantiated” and “unfounded.”
The 16-year-old won’t face charges after she told police she was abducted at gunpoint and sexually assaulted in broad daylight while walking along Tartan Dr. on the morning of Jan. 18.
The two-week investigation had police canvassing the quiet west-end neighbourhood and scouring footage from an OC Transpo park and ride lot where the teen claimed she was dumped after the assault.
“It’s our belief the incident did not happen,” said Sgt. Jeff Webster, who declined to comment on the investigation, saying it remains a “private” matter.
The girl provided police with a detailed description of her attacker and of the getaway vehicle in a case that sent shockwaves through a community still reeling from the 2005 murder of local teenager Jennifer Teague.
“That was the first thing I thought of when I first heard,” said Barrhaven resident Tom Stone, 55, outside the Mac’s convenience store on the corner of Jockvale Rd. and Tartan Dr. where Teague was last seen alive.
“We believe we live in a quiet neighbourhood and all of a sudden, holy smokes, what’s happening here? And in the middle of the day,” said Stone, who has two young daughters and a teenaged son.
James Gilliland, president of the West Barrhaven Community Association, said residents are expressing both relief and frustration.
“On one hand, I’m relieved that it is a hoax and that means we don’t have a predator trolling around our streets. On the other hand, it’s frustrating that police resources were wasted on a hoax,” said Gilliland, who said there was a heightened sense of concern in the community since the allegations first made headlines.
“With what happened to Jennifer Teague, it certainly had everyone on edge. I had some people calling for self-defence seminars, and I know parents were making sure their teenagers were keeping their cellphones on them at all times.
“We were concerned even with (a teenaged family friend) taking the bus here ... It certainly serves as a reminder that bad things can happen in good communities.”
Galliland is among the many residents calling on the girl to issue an apology for duping police and the community.
“There should be some repercussions,” he said.
Commentary by the Ottawa Mens Centre
Society has become so accustomed to the making of false allegations and there
is a knee jerk reaction to assume that the female perpetrator of these false
allegations must be some for of victim who should not be charged.
Our criminal courts and family courts are filled as a result of people willing to lie under oath, make false allegations and the courts attitude is "so what". Our judges effectively invite anyone and everyone to have a go at making false allegations to get what they want.
Generally, it results in another innocent male losing his job, his family and all his assets just to defend himself against the crazy unbelievable uncorroborated allegations of a mentally ill violent woman.