The taunts and bullying about the alleged sexual assault of a 16-year-old Pitt Meadows girl have been loud enough to drive her from school.
But when it comes to those who could provide evidence about the crime, police have run into a wall of silence.
“We still have reason to believe that there was more than one person involved, but at this point we only have evidence to support charges against one,” RCMP Sergeant Peter Thiessen said after a press conference on Thursday.
In a statement provided to reporters, the girl thanked those who supported her. “But to the people who didn’t support me, who called me names, who spread lies about me, thank you,” she said in the statement. “Because you made me a much stronger person than I ever was before.”
Police on Thursday announced charges against two men in connection to the September incident, bringing to three the number of people who have been charged in a case that generated international headlines and a groundswell of support for the girl and her family.
At this point, only one person – Colton Ashton McMorris, 18, of Maple Ridge – has been charged with sexual assault, even though police believe more people were involved.
“There are individuals that we feel are responsible who we are encouraging to come forward and clear themselves,” Sgt. Thiessen said. “We have had discussions with these individuals and they are choosing not to co-operate.”
Two other men have been charged with production and distribution of child pornography in connection with the case.
The girl was allegedly assaulted at an outdoor rave party at a rural Pitt Meadows property. Within days, photos of the incident had been posted on Facebook and other sites and were, according to police, spreading “like wildfire.”
At a press conference a few days after the event, police made a public plea for any one who had received the images to stop distributing them, saying that such an act could result in charges of distributing child pornography.
At area schools in the days after the alleged assault, some students who spoke to reporters said the incident had been overblown, with some claiming that the girl fabricated claims of assault because she was embarrassed that photos of her engaged in sexual activity had surfaced, or that the sex had been consensual.
Such claims angered police, who spent weeks tracking down and speaking to people who’d attended the rave and were adamant that the girl had been doubly victimized – by the alleged sexual assault and the rapid spread of images on the Internet.
Dennis John Allen Warrington, 19, of Langley has been charged for the production of child pornography and distribution of child pornography. A 16-year-old boy, who cannot be identified under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, was earlier charged with the same offences.
Police said they do not expect to make further arrests unless new information is brought to their attention.