NEWS

'Spookland' Halloween party organizers to meet after sex assault allegations

11/03/2014 11:25 EST | Updated 01/03/2015 05:59 EST
The organizers and hosts of a massive Halloween party near Gatineau, Que., will meet today to reflect on the event, which led to nine hospitalizations and three allegations of sexual assault.

The "Spookland" Halloween party took place on Friday at Mont Cascades Ski Resort & Water Park, located in Cantley, about 23 kilometres northeast of Gatineau.

Mont Cascades spokesman Luc Desormeaux​ said the resort's officials are meeting with the Ottawa-based party organizers, I'm With the DJ, on Monday to talk about the event and its future at the resort.

About 1,000 people attended the private party, a licensed event with five DJs and three dance floors, aimed at people between the ages of 16 and 21, according to the party’s Facebook page.

MRC des Collines police and paramedics say nine people were taken to hospital during the event after drug use and alcohol poisoning. Then on Saturday, three girls alleged they were sexually assaulted at the Halloween party.

Police said two investigations have officially begun involving 16-year-old and 17-year-old girls.

A 16-year-old was found at the party naked and unconscious. She was taken to hospital and tests found the so-called date rape drug GHB in her system, police said. 

The second case involves the alleged sexual touching of a 17-year-old girl. Another 16-year-old girl has not launched an official police complaint, only telling police over the phone that she was touched inappropriately.

The investigations continue and police said they have no suspects. Anyone who witnessed a sexual assault or believes they were a victim at the event is asked to call police at 819-459-9911 or 1-888-459-9911.

Teens as young as 14 spotted at party, patrons say

Over the weekend, people who attended the party told CBC News teenagers as young as 14 were bused in from Ottawa and eastern Ontario towns like Carleton Place, Kemptville and Perth, where organizers recruited at area schools.

Those same party patrons also claim the organization of this year’s Spookland event was very different from the previous year, claiming too many tickets were sold and bartenders stopped checking IDs.

One party patron described the event as being "like a mosh pit" and another claimed people were handing out pills on the bus heading to the party, with one person allegedly suffering a seizure.

Event organizers dispute each of those claims.

In a pair of email statements sent to CBC News, organizers said some people came to the event already "heavily intoxicated" and paramedics were called once the guests arrived at the venue.

Otherwise, they said, the night passed "without incident" and disputed any disorganization or issues with capacity. A statement released Sunday stated the group is co-operating with the police investigation into the alleged sexual assaults.

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