Wednesday, April 30, 2014

France: Update--Father of Alleged Canadian Rape Victim, 34, Speaks to Media, Criticizes Embassy

According to The Canadian Press, the father of a Canadian tourist, 34, has alleged that his daughter was raped by several Paris police officers says his daughter and will need psychiatric care.
Speaking to the French media outlet Europe1, the Canadian's father seemingly hoped for more support from Canadian authorities in Paris. 

Two French police officers from an elite, anti-gang police unit have been formally charged in connection with the alleged rape victim from Toronto at their unit's historic Paris headquarters at 36 Quai des Orfèvres.

COMMENT: In contrast to media coverage of rape allegations in other countries over the years, I have been puzzled by the French media's lack of detailed coverage of the alleged crime, particularly as they relate to the alleged victim, particularly from the standpoint of both the media's and government's failure to be perceived as fully transparent.

As I have said so often in my 2008 book, STAYING SAFE ABROAD, and in my 2014 complete update of the work, due out this summer under the title, STAYING SAFE ABROAD 2014, "there are no 'safe" countries."

It has generally been my experience as a retired special agent at the US Department of State that very few global travelers speak WELL of their treatment at the hands of their own government, regardless of nationality.

I have hardly been an apologist for the young Canadian tourist who according to my first posting re: the alleged rape by the police officers as the victim herself  may well have precipitated the circumstances that confronted her. See: 

From my own perspective, even in cases where travelers have been murdered, seriously injured, gang-raped, sexually assaulted and humiliated, very RARELY do foreign embassies and consulates excel in supporting the needs of their citizens who find themselves needing emergency assistance.

Foreign travelers venture abroad every day. Yet,  few of them are well-prepared for the choices and decisions they will have to make in terms of the strength or inadequacies of their personal security awareness.

Few travelers, unless they have lived abroad for years, are prepared for differences foreign laws, cultural mores, the integrity of foreign police and their own intoxication level and tolerance, etc.

Most embassies and consulates are not effectively staffed when it comes to citizen services, even though foreign travelers who find themselves needing embassy or consular help abroad rarely are sufficiently satisfied.

In my own experience, US citizens needing help abroad usually are forced to seek resolution from federal legislators, yet even when lawmakers complain, highly-bureaucratic cabinet departments rarely perform very well.

Culture aside, few foreign governments have a focused sense of motivation and prompt results.

Invariably, I have urged foreign travelers who have had a less-than-positive experience with their own government and find themselves in a proverbial Catch-22 to take the manner in which they have been treated to the international media, which is far more effective that communicating with legislators, who rarely have any "drag" with their own government.

The alleged victim's father said that he would reveal more during trial, although other than supporting his daughter's reputation, most of what he knows about the events would very likely be excluded under the hearsay rule. 

Europe1 met with the victim's father on Monday (April 28), who is a retired Canadian police chief.

A third police officer has been described as an "assisted witness," positioning the individual between a witness and a suspect.

All three officers implicated in the case have been suspended from their duties, pending the results of investigators.

French media have reported the 34-year-old Canadian tourist met the off-duty officers in a bar last week and that she later accompanied them to their historic police headquarters.

An attorney for one of the suspects told THE CANADIAN PRESS that the sex was consensual.

This report will be updated as new information is received.