Edmonton police are absolving themselves of any wrongdoing after a young aboriginal woman who sought help for rape was taken into custody.

The 18-year-old claimed to have been arrested and denied a rape kit by Edmonton police last week, after her mother called police on her behalf.

“We’ve had an opportunity to review the facts based on what was given to the police service at the time. We’re more than satisfied with the actions taken by the officers,” Deputy Chief Brian Simpson told reporters Monday.

According to the Edmonton Sun, police responded to a late evening call at an Edmonton motel on Feb. 17. Two officers arrived on scene and knocked on several doors before finding the woman.

Officers learned she was wanted on a previous warrant for a breach of probation.

“EMS treated the woman at the scene, however there was no report of sexual assault at that time by her,” said Simpson.

Story continues after the slideshow

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  • Kym Penner

    Generally i am a supporter of @edmontonpolice there is something missing in this explanation! http://t.co/SUR0VMcauw via @edmontonjournal

  • Naomi Sayers

    This disgusts me. #OpThundebird http://t.co/aeOVp7Zk5z

  • Emma CB

    Just appalling: http://t.co/OdVta3cwgJ

  • ing

    RT @DrDawg: "We're satisfied — more than satisfied with the actions taken by the officers." ~Edmonton police re arrest of rape victim. #pigs

  • Lisa A. MacLeod

    Investigation began due to public outcry & not formal complaint >They're hearing us, now #ExpectUs #OpThunderbird http://t.co/1PnIHgi5KC

  • Mark Cherrington

    I once had a kid holding the bulb of her intestines in her hands, b/c afraid to call the police due2 breach warrants. http://t.co/9ekF1bz28l

  • patty

    “I’ve come to believe that at times sometimes what the police say isn’t the whole truth,” Cherrington said. #truth http://t.co/NbQ4l6mvNi

  • NativeYouthSexHealth

    We stand w our #Indigenous sister who recently experienced police violence in Edmonton & demand accountability http://t.co/P30sPMaG5r #yeg

  • Rachel

    Edmonton police need to be more careful not to deter women from coming forward if they are sexually assaulted. http://t.co/hyvCPuR56y #yeg

  • ing

    RT @DrDawg: "We're satisfied — more than satisfied with the actions taken by the officers." ~Edmonton police re arrest of rape victim. #pigs

  • Kaymee

    All I have to say to #Edmonton police, #OpThunderbird, is see ya Friday!

  • Stephen Harper

    @thunderdrums75 @edmontonpolice I remember when I used to trust the police. Only a memory now :( #Idlenomore #cdnpoli #stopharper: @t...

  • Jason Mercredi

    Dear @edmontonpolice "Above & Beyond" doesn't bring such shame to your office nor does it warrant the fear or loss of trust many now report

  • Tanya Kappo

    I was in a high risk take down once in #YEG by the @edmontonpolice . Back then they had an Aboriginal Relations committee. Do they still?

  • Rob Rae

    @edmontonpolice good job covering your asses! Glad to know proper procedure was followed. Why would anyone give you respect? #assclowns

  • Wolfie

    @edmontonpolice Okay, so did you arrest?charge any1 for sexual assault on the teen now making the news in #yeg? That would be a great move.

  • Wolfie

    @edmontonpolice I mean guys, seriously, is there a problem systemically w/ YEG incarceration settings/policy+victim needs or not? Whats up?

  • Cassandra Navratil

    @MarkCherrington @edmontonpolice Hmmm above and beyond? Yet she wasn't taken to hospital or issued rape kit for days after arrest? #really?

  • Mark Cherrington

    @edmontonpolice state comments about racism "Irresponsible" and police went "Above and beyond" regarding girl raped and jailed. I disagree.

  • Stephanie Chard

    @MarkCherrington @edmontonpolice they went "above and beyond"? What a typical comment. Disgusting.

  • Lou Arab

    Hey @edmontonpolice: Again, please comment on story of rape victim being arrested. #eps #yeg #yegcc #ableg

The woman was held at the Edmonton Remand Centre and not taken to hospital for a rape kit until late Tuesday night, more than 48 hours after the assault, her lawyer, Parm Johal, told the Edmonton Journal.

“She should have been taken to the hospital right away,” Johal said. “The Remand Centre should never have taken her in. ... The police dropped the ball.”

According to her lawyer, the girl was staying at the motel with her boyfriend, but he left after they got in a fight. She later made friends with two men and a woman who were also staying at the hotel. She alleges that the group attacked her both sexually and physically after inviting her to their hotel room.

However, police say the woman did not inform officers she had been sexually assaulted until almost a full 24 hours after she had been arrested. She was taken to hospital about 30 minutes after reporting the rape, they claim. Doctors at the hospital confirmed the sexual assault.

“Based on the information given to officers responding at the time, their actions were appropriate,” Simpson told The Journal. “The followup actions taken when other information was given was also appropriate.”

However, Johal said police should have concerned themselves more with finding the perpetrators instead of arresting the girl.

“The message they’re sending out to victims of sexual assault is, ‘Don’t bother phoning the police if you’ve been sexually assaulted, if you have a warrant out for you or if you’re breaching your bail conditions because you know what’s going to happen to you? You’re going to be arrested as well,’” Johal said. “It was completely inappropriate for the police to be laying these charges on her.”

Simpson denied the accusations.

“There have been allegations and comments that EPS is dismissing concerns of aboriginal women in Edmonton.” Simpson told the Sun.

“These comments are inaccurate, irresponsible and offensive and do not reflect our ongoing relationship with the aboriginal community, something we value very much.”

The girl spoke with CBC News, saying she was told by police she could file a sexual assault report once she was no longer in custody.

"I want something to be done about how I was treated so it doesn't happen to anybody else," she said.

According to court documents, the charges of breaching bail were dropped Feb. 22 when she was released from the Remand Centre -- five days after being taking into custody.

While a formal complaint has not been filed, the allegations of the case are now public and the police department will launch an internal investigation.

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