In releasing Rowan Wild, Judge Jelena Popovic said she felt he didn’t pose an unacceptable risk.
Where do I even start? I don’t think I have ever had to tone my language down as much as I am attempting to do right now.
It has been alleged by police that all four men, relatives of one another, were involved in the abduction of the young girl from a park at 4am on the night of November 1.
She was then taken to two different locations in the following two hours where police allege she was gang-raped repeatedly.
What the judge is arguing is that there is little evidence, at this stage, linking who performed which of the many heinous acts that police say occurred.
Excuse me if I’m wrong but let’s just take a minute to break this down.
Police allege all four of them were involved in the girl’s abduction. In my understanding, that is a jailable offence in itself.
Secondly, at no point did any of the four men try and stop one another from carrying out these alleged acts, say police.
That would be classified as criminal collusion in relation to the sexual assault and kidnapping of a minor. Yet again, jailable!
So let me get this straight, Judge Popovic is now giving leniency as she is unsure as to which one engaged most actively in the alleged sexual assault.
Note, at this stage, that the young girl is claiming she was raped by all four men; and not just once.
May I add that police also allege they also beat her 16-year-old male friend as he tried to fight off the attackers.
I have worked with many young victims of sexual assault in my time and there is one consistent thread that binds them all – their lives have been changed forever and the trauma they experience is beyond words.
Furthermore, every single one of the victims I have dealt with has to deal with what this young girl is now dealing with – retraumatisation by a system that fails to keep them safe and questions, through their very actions, the legitimacy of her claims and suffering.
If the judge doesn’t see these men as a threat should we ask her if she would let them babysit her daughters?
Given her actions, I am doubtful that she has daughters.
It is beyond my comprehension the level of fear that the young girl must be experiencing.
Her need for support, validation and to feel safe has just been smashed.