DAWN Ontario: DisAbled Women's Network Ontario

judge Ramsay case: Prince George perpetrator of violence against
young First Nations women

 

CALL TO ACTION:

Recently a former BC judge plead guilty to several reprehensible sexual crimes against young First Nations women in Prince George. He is being sentenced on June 1st.

The Victoria Status of Women Action Group (SWAG) is sending out this email to ask for people to send letters of concern and support on this issue. These attacks are part of the on-going extreme levels of systemic violence experienced by First Nations women. See the Sisters in Spirit web site for a campaign to raise awareness about the 500 missing aboriginal women in Canada.

The Assembly of First Nations and Native Women's Association of Canada sent out a press release on this issue. in early May.

Email addresses of where you can send letters are listed at the end of this email. The purpose is to communicate that this kind of victimization of the most vulnerable young women is simply not acceptable and that the despicable actions of judge Ramsay are not going to be swept under the carpet. See SWAG's statement on the issue at the end of this email.

Summary of Ramsay case:

Information compiled from the Vancouver Sun (May 4, 04 page A2 by Ian Mulgrew) and the Globe & Mail (May 4 04, Page A12 by Jane Armstrong, full story: follow this link

Former provincial court judge David William Ramsay was charged with and plead guilty to one count of sexual assault causing bodily harm, three counts of purchasing sex from three women under the age of 18 and one count of breach of trust.

Ramsay, who was appointed to the bench in 1991 and resigned in 2002, was accused of using the influence of his position to prey on First Nations girls between the ages of 12 and 16 who had appeared before him in court, almost since the beginning of his term in office in Prince George. Having access to their personal backgrounds and psychiatric histories, and using promises of light sentences if the girls "didn't tell anyone," he coerced and forced them to perform sexual acts for him, acts which often turned violent.

In one instance, he brutally attacked and raped a girl he had picked up for sex when she suggested he use a condom. Later, after leaving the sex trade and entering rehab, she attempted to regain custody of her son, only to find that the judge hearing the case was none other than her rapist, Ramsay. In another case, a 13-year-old girl in the sex trade describes how an encounter with the judge turned violent, and that as she fled from him, he threatened to have her killed if she told anyone, saying "you don't know who I know." Another girl, fourteen, whose case was being heard by Ramsay, was paid four to six times for a sexual act and promised a lighter sentence if she wouldn't tell.

The Special Crown prosecutor on the Ramsay case, said in court that Ramsay's offences deserved a sentence of three to five years in a penitentiary. Ramsay's lawyer, however, is asking for a shorter sentence, and tried to downplay both the crimes and the serious abuse of a position of power that they represent, stating that they are merely "the manifestation of a significant character flaw." Even the Crown prosecutor has stated that "[Ramsay] deserves credit for his resignation."

Harry Pierre, tribal council chief of the Carrier Sekani First Nation near Prince George, said the crimes were unconscionable, leaving the women with crippling, life-long problems....

 

Send letters to:

Your local media

The Prince George Citizen
Email: news@princegeorgecitizen.com

Carrier Sekani Tribal Council
C/o Angie Grant, executive assistant
Email: agrant@cstc.bc.ca

Murry Krause, Prince George City Councillor and executive director of the local native health centre and chairman of the group Community Against Sexual Exploitation of Youth.
Email: murry.krause@cinhs.org

Native Women's Association of Canada
Email: scardinal@nwac-hq.org

Sisters In Spirit Campaign
Email: sistersinspirit@nwac-hq.org

Assembly of First Nations Communications:
Email: IMcLeod@afn.ca




Victoria Status of Women Action Group (SWAG) Statement on judge Ramsay:

May 17, 2004

David William Ramsay (Prince George) violently abused his power with the most vulnerable young girls and women and must not be allowed to hide behind his former status of being a judge.

The young women who were victims of this perpetrator must be sent a message that their inherent right to dignity, safety, happiness and well-being is being treated with the utmost seriousness and importance by the legal system and by society in general.

In the present climate of today, we, as mother's, aunt's and grandmother's and all other citizens, have a duty to speak out that our young girls and women are not available for violence, degradation, exploitation and inhuman indignities such as was suffered by the young victims of judge Ramsay.


 

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Page last updated May 18, 2004