A rally was held at a Port Alberni courthouse Friday morning to support the couple who lured and captured a man they claim was trying to have sex with their underage daughter.
The couple, who cannot be named to protect their daughter's identity, and a third man were in court to answer to charges of assault causing bodily harm and unlawful confinement for the April 2018 incident.
Two men pled guilty to assault causing bodily harm while the girl's mother pled not guilty to that charge. She did plead guilty to a lesser charge of common assault. The unlawful confinement charge was stayed in all three cases.
All three people involved were given conditional discharges, meaning their criminal records won't reflect the charges as long as they comply with probation terms.
The encounter between the trio and the man accused of trying to have sex with the young girl was broadcast on Facebook Live.
In the video, a man could be seen face-down on the floor of a home with his feet and hands bound by zip ties.
The girl's mother alleged at the time the 28-year-old man was in contact with her 13-year-old daughter and trying to have sex with her.
Police arrived at the home and took the couple into custody.
The 29-year-old man who allegedly messaged the girl, himself a father of two, has not yet been charged despite allegations he exchanged explicit photos with her and tried to meet up for sexual purposes.
"He acknowledged that he himself had two daughters and indicated that he would've responded himself in a more serious way than what occurred here," said lawyer Mike Mulligan.
The lawyer for the mother charged said she feels remorse for her actions, but took measures as a last resort after waiting five weeks for police to respond to her concerns.
She said police then told her they'd need more time to investigate the accused child predator.
"Mom did everything she could by lawful means to have the predator arrested and charged," said lawyer Bert King.
The incident sparked fury in the mid-island community, which spilled over into Friday's protest with a handful of people carrying signs with messages criticizing the justice system.
"The courts have failed them miserably," said supporter Brett Von Brendel. "If you don't want vigilante justice, you need as a justice system, police force and courts, need to support people that are in peril, and these parents were left with no choice."
Police say they're still investigating the 29-year-old accused of trying to have sex with the underage girl.
The people charged will have to comply with probation conditions for the next year, including having no contact with the man they tied up.