Teen in CFS care arrested, charged with assault and sexual assault of girl in downtown Winnipeg
New details have emerged after a 15-year-old girl was found badly beaten just before 5 a.m. Wednesday morning outside a downtown parkade
A 15-year-old boy who flagged down officers for help and directed them to the victim has now been arrested and charged with aggravated assault and aggravated sexual assault.
Winnipeg Police said Thursday the accused and the victim were known to each other.
"They were both wards of Child and Family Services and were staying at the same hotel within the city of Winnipeg,” said Constable Chris Wingfield.
Both teens were staying at the Best Western Charter House—the same place murdered teenager Tina Fontaine ran away from before her body was discovered in the Red River.
It's unclear how the suspect and victim in this latest case left the hotel while in care but investigators say they were walking together downtown when it appears they got into an argument.
Police also said the 15-year-old boy now charged was originally interviewed as a witness.
"There were discrepancies involved in his story that he was telling investigators then investigators started putting pieces of the puzzle together,” said Const. Wingfield. “They soon determined he was responsible and he was formally charged."
The girl remains in hospital in critical condition.
CTV spoke with her family who said the victim’s injuries are so bad, they can barely recognize her. They also said she was in CFS care for about a month before this attack.
The province has once again come under fire for its practice of lodging kids in care in hotels. It's supposed to be a last resort but on Wednesday Family Services Minister Kerri Irvin-Ross made a pledge that by June 1st no more kids in care will live in hotels no matter what.
"We have a responsibility…to protect children in our care," said a tearful Irvin-Ross on Wednesday.
There are currently 10, 000 kids in CFS care in Manitoba and 9 staying in hotels.
Shawna Normand, the executive director of the Manitoba Foster Family Network, said it could be a challenge to eliminate hotel placements in just two months unless more foster families come forward.
"Of course the more foster parents we have, the better we can suit placements," said Normand.
Police officers said they found the victim 11 minutes before someone called in a report that she had gone missing.
Officers would not tell CTV News who made the report.
Police don’t expect to make any further arrests.