WINNIPEG — The Crown read out prepared victim impact statements Tuesday in Winnipeg at a sentencing hearing on behalf of a teenage girl and a woman who were sexually assaulted and beaten in November 2014. Justin Hudson pleaded guilty last year to the attacks that included beating the teen repeatedly before leaving her for dead on the banks of the Assiniboine River. Another accused is still before the courts.
Here are the unedited statements that were read out in court:
"I am addressing the men who are responsible for hurting me. I survived though. I am speaking to you now so that you will hear how your actions created an enormous amount of suffering for me. I will not allow you to have my silence. This is my voice. I am a real person. A human being. And you hurt me terribly, an injustice for which you are now paying the consequence.
Why me? I have wondered that so many times. I was just 16 years old when you decided to attack me that night along the river.
I only remember parts of it.
I wish I could forget those memories. but I never will.
After beating me with weapons, you left my body, naked and nearly dead. You stole my jacket and shoes and took my iPod. And then you posted a picture on Facebook of yourself wearing my clothes. When I saw that later, I was sickened that you felt so little remorse and instead bragged about what you had just done.
A man found me the next morning in that condition.
When I arrived at the hospital, doctors did not think I would live. My mother and father sat at my bedside beside my broken body. The emotional pain inflicted on my family cannot be overstated. They were devastated.
When I regained consciousness, my entire body was screaming with pain. More pain than I have ever known or thought possible. It was you who did that to me, through your wilful actions and decisions.
I had surgery and my head was stapled closed. I have spent a lot of time in hospitals since you attacked me, repairing injuries to my body. I have scars on most of my limbs, everyday reminders of that night.
It's hard for me to find the words to explain the impact that the assault has had on my life. I feel sad. Angry. Confused. It's more than those words can possibly convey. The pain is a heavy weight for me to carry.
I hope you will think about what you have done with regret in your heart. And regret not because you've lost your freedom, but because it was wrong to hurt me."
"It's been two years since the night I was sexually assaulted and at times it feels like yesterday. At the time it was happening, I was so scared. I did my best to 'act' as they wanted me to out of fear that they would hurt me even more. This made me so disgusted with myself and I hated my body for such a long time after. I couldn't be touched by anyone without feeling scared. I was insecure within my own body and felt like it wasn't mine anymore.
I became judgmental and wary of people in general. I am uncomfortable in large groups and get anxiety when I have to go out of the house. I am nervous around people that I don't know especially with anyone intoxicated, when before it wouldn't bother me. I don't like to be out after dark anymore. When I am, I have to be on the phone talking with someone until I am safe at home.
I have put off calling a therapist because I don't want to feel worse than I already do. I have trouble looking people in the eye.
Everyday activities can become a challenge. I could feel fine one minute and then the next thing I know, I get scared, then I become angry with myself for getting scared and it impacts the rest of my day. What is worse, is knowing that I can't control these feelings and become overwhelmed quickly.
What happened to me really shook my brother, and we have been through a lot, to see me like that ... how could our relationship be the same?
There are things that happened to me that night that I am still ashamed about. I have not been able to share these with my current partner out of shame.
I go to school at night and have to take the bus and walk home. I am also very nervous and anyone who looks at me intimidates me. If I see someone sitting on a bench, I always check to see if they are following me.
The night of the sexual assault:
— I spent 2-3 days in the hospital
— My face had a hole that required stitches
— I had a concussion
— Gash on the back of my head
— I was sore all over and my body just ached
— I couldn't warm up
— I remember people pulling on my face and tugging on my head in the hospital
— I underwent a sexual assault exam and I had to open my body to more invasions by people I didn't know
— My face was all bruised and it made me feel really self-conscious, I felt gross and grungy
Now my face has changed; I can't move my bottom lip and there is nerve damage. My smile has changed as a result."