New details in sex assault allegations at Island Health care facility
CTV Vancouver Island
Published Friday, July 20, 2018 6:45PM PDT
Last Updated Friday, July 20, 2018 7:34PM PDT
People living in a Victoria care facility say they're aware of allegations of sexual assaults against multiple people living there by a staff member.
CTV News first reported on the allegations Thursday, after learning from the Ministry of Health that a police investigation was focused on an Island Health-run facility on Hillside Avenue.
The allegations suggest multiple people may have been sexually assaulted by a staff member at the facility on Hillside Avenue.
Bette-Marie, who lives in a four-bed ward at the Aberdeen Critical Care Hospital, claims two of her roommates told her they were sexually assaulted several days ago by a male care aid.
She also says she understands there were multiple victims.
"I'm appalled. These are women that are in their 70s and 80s with limited mobility," she said. "I'm personally affected because these two women are in my room, and my heart is ripping out and appalled that this kind of behaviour could even happen in a place like this."
She said that she was very impressed with how staff at the facility handled the matter.
"What they have done has been outstanding as far as dealing with the situation," she said. "I've never seen anything dealt with so rapidly and so precisely and so protectively."
Bette-Marie also claimed the care aid allegedly involved is not currently working at the facility.
In a statement to CTV News Thursday, the Ministry of Health confirmed there is an ongoing investigation, saying "Island Health has informed us of the investigation, but as that is ongoing and the police are investigating, we will not be commenting on it."
Today, the ministry referred requests for comment to Victoria police.
When asked what is being investigated and if anyone is at risk, police provided a statement.
"We’re not able to confirm or deny the existence of an investigation unless there’s a risk to public safety, or we need the public’s assistance in identifying witnesses, suspects, victims or evidence, and doing so would not jeopardize the investigation itself, if one were underway," said Victoria police spokesman Bowen Osoko.
"As we've said previously, we will have to decline comment."
The statement suggests there is no risk to the public, but so far, police aren't even confirming an investigation has been opened.
When contacted for comment Friday, Island Health echoed its earlier statement that it cannot comment due to privacy reasons.
There has been no confirmation of exactly what the nature or extent of the alleged assaults were at the facility.