Alleged perpetrator leaves country before facing judicial repercussions
Charges have been laid in the sexual assault case of former University of Ottawa student Mélodie Morin, however the alleged assailant has left the country. Morin first gained attention when she went public with her story of being sexually assaulted by another student near campus, and called on the police to re-open her case, which they then said had never been closed.
Morin did not wish to comment further on the matter, but did allow her friend Margaux Hunter-Moffatt to speak on her behalf, who said they were both “elated” when they first heard charges were being laid.
“The fact that charges were being laid this time around also proved to us that we had been justified in our outrage when they originally tried to close the case,” said Hunter-Moffatt. “It had not been due to lack of evidence or ‘misunderstanding’, but because the original officer truly did not take Mel’s assault seriously.”
The alleged perpetrator has fled to Lebanon, so charges were laid in absentia.
While having charges laid is a victory, Hunter-Moffatt said they “are still extremely upset” that the alleged perpetrator has not been apprehended. “We believe that he is a dangerous sexual offender who will likely assault more women, yet he gets to walk free.”
The Fulcrum reached out to the Ottawa Police Service but they declined to comment because they “cannot confirm charge in a sexual assault matter where the identification of a suspect may identify a victim, and further victimize.”
Both Morin and Hunter-Moffatt plan to continue advocating for the rights of sexual assault victims. “Once the shock and the media attention for the recent developments in Mel’s case have died down we plan to continue our work to help other victims.”
“If there’s one thing this experience has taught us, it’s that the justice system is not currently serving victims of sexual assault properly, and that needs to change.”