On April 16, 2016 a Freedom of Information request was received by LaSalle Police Service from the Globe and Mail Newspaper requesting statistical information on Sexual Assault Investigations from 2010 – 2014. The request was received and processed by the LaSalle Police Service. Unfortunately, sexual assault occurrences were erroneously categorized as “Unfounded” in all cases in which a charge was not laid. The figures provided to the Globe and Mail for 2010-2014 were:
51 reported Sexual Assaults
30 Unfounded (59%)
As a result of an article published by the Globe and Mail, the LaSalle Police Service conducted an internal review which included a review of all sexual assault investigations from 2013- 2016.
It was determined that the actual figures for the period of 2010-2014 were:
59 Reported Sexual Assaults
16 Categorized as “unfounded” as per the Uniform Crime Reporting definition provided by StatsCan (27%)
Chief John Leontowicz ordered a review of all sexual assault cases between 2013 – 2016. The review revealed:
38 reports were reviewed
Cleared By Charges – 11 (29%)
Cleared Otherwise – 15 (39%)
Unfounded – 9 (24%)
Unfounded – False Allegation – 3 (8%)
These numbers are consistent with other services across Ontario.
In every case reviewed, the victim was spoken to and an attempt was made to obtain either a written or video recorded statement. At no time were victims “dismissed” or ignored and as much as possible each victim was given an opportunity to be involved in the investigation and provide input on the outcome of the case.
On March 23, 2017 the LaSalle Police Service conducted a Collaborative Community Session with many of its Community partners. The LaSalle Police Service Sexual Assault Review was presented at this session, which was an open forum for discussion and questions. All present actively participated and there was meaningful dialogue between members of the service and the community partners.
The final report has been submitted to the LaSalle Police Services Board. Recommendations have been implemented as a result of the review. The policy changes deal with case over sight and review.