Mar 2, 2013 / 7:07 pm
Edmonton's police chief has publicly refuted allegations his officers jailed a woman and ignored her sexual assault complaint because she had outstanding warrants.
Rod Knecht writes in a letter to the editor of the Edmonton Journal that recent media coverage about the woman's experience has been "inaccurate and inflammatory."
Police said they were called to a motel to check on the welfare of an 18-year-old woman in mid-February and that paramedics treated her at the scene.
Knecht writes that officers took her to the police station for followup investigation.
But he says she gave no indication she had been sexually assaulted, so they brought her to the city's Remand Centre because of her warrants.
He says she didn't disclose she had been sexually assaulted until "several hours later" and was taken to hospital and an investigation was started.
"Unsubstantiated and unfounded reports of racism and police ineptitude by third-party observers were reported on in social media, absent the facts of the initial response," Knecht wrote in his letter to the paper.
"These unchecked erroneous views were reported as accurate to a broader audience in the mainstream media. The comments undermined the efforts of first responders who worked to assist the female victim and only served to negatively impact the sexual assault investigation," he added.
The investigation into the sexual assault is ongoing, he says.
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