In case you're living under a "news" rock, or your timeline is swamped with people marking their safety and news out of Toronto's van rundown, there was some (more!) sad news of sexual assault coming out of Montreal this week.
A 13-year-old girl in Montreal was allegedly raped last month, and there have been five teenagers accused and/or charged in the incident.
Here is the story so far. 5 teens were arrested last Thursday (April 19) - one girl, and 4 boys - in connection to a "gang rape" committed against a 13-year-old teenage girl at a house party in Montreal's northern area last month (March).
The victim recalls being "injected" with a substance, and then the "rest is just flashbacks." Out of fear of reprisals, she did not report the crime herself - which is a sobering statement and something that is far too common.
The incident all went down on March 24, between 8 - 11:30 PM. Police were notified by the victim's father on March 30.
The group of accused teenagers is aged 13-16 years old. All the teenagers involved, including the victim, knew each other before the incident.
Three of the five arrested (the girl and two of the boys) were detained until a bail hearing on Wednesday.
A Crown spokesman said that these three were charged with gang sexual assault; armed sexual assault; unlawful confinement; and production, possession, and distribution of child pornography.
The teenage girl who has been charged, who is also 13, filmed the whole incident and shared it on social media platforms WhatsApp and Snapchat- which is disgusting (can we all just delete Snapchat already?).
The shared social media content was seen by the victims older brother, who brought it to the attention of their father, who then called 9-1-1 to report the crime.
“We received a 911 call from the father of the victim who told us that the sexual assault occurred on March 24 in an apartment in the Montreal North borough. We didn’t have the information before the father called us, so that's why at this moment when we got the information, the major crimes squad took charge of the investigation.” Montreal police spokesperson Andree-Anne Picard
The young girl had met her friends at a Montreal metro station before going to an apartment with roughly 10 party attendees, that, of course, was not supervised by any adults.
The five teens were detained at their school by police, and all five were questioned in the presence of their parents.
The three teens, who have been in custody since their arrest, return to court Wednesday (tomorrow) for a bail hearing. The fourth teenager will face charges in court later this week, and no court date has been set as of yet for the fifth of the accused teens.
This news is heartbreaking... but worse, it's not uncommon. In the wake of #MeToo and #TimesUp, there have been a lot of stories that, no doubt, will hit you in a way that is hard to take.
I had a hard time writing this, even though the points I made are just the facts around this story. My thoughts and positive energy is all being sent to this young teenage girl and her family.
If you ever read this, I am so sorry for what you had to experience and will carry with you for the rest of your life.