PITT MEADOWS, B.C. — Police in this quiet Vancouver-area suburb have said it is one of the most disturbing sexual assault cases they have ever seen.
Yet, the alleged gang rape of a 16-year-old girl at a techno music-infused rave party — and the viral distribution of photographs of the incident in cyberspace — drew surprisingly strident dismissals from some of the girl’s peers on Friday, with some saying the girl made up the rape story after pictures were posted on the web.
Those insinuations drew an angry response from the girl’s father.
"Absolutely stupid," he told Postmedia News Friday from the driveway of the family’s home, which is nestled among tall trees.
Pacing back and forth with his arms crossed, he said his daughter was essentially re-victimized after the photos went viral.
"The Internet has added insult to injury tenfold," he said. "People need privacy to heal."
He said it was "unfathomable" to him that young people can think they can post pictures like that without consequences.
"For me it’s unbelievable in this day and age, youth are so de-sensitized to crime and pornography," he said. "The naivety of those kids is so sickening."
His daughter — whom he described as witty and beautiful and having a strong personality — is receiving counselling, he said.
His family has found some comfort, he said, in seeing how aggressively police are pursuing the case.
On that front, police announced a second arrest Friday. An 18-year-old Maple Ridge man was arrested on Thursday and released under certain conditions.
Police are recommending sexual assault charges against him.
A 16-year-old boy, accused of taking the photographs of the assault and distributing them online, was arrested on Tuesday. He faces possible charges of producing child pornography.
Police say more arrests are likely.
The Facebook-publicized rave party, dubbed "Another night in Bangkok," happened last Friday night at the back of a rural private property and involved more than 100 teenagers from the area.
Reached by phone, Jared Deptuck, 18, who says he helped oversee the rave, called the event a "successful night," and said he is "100 per cent convinced" that no crime occurred at the party.
Deptuck, who said he was interviewed once by the police, said he and others were carefully monitoring the crowd for trouble and weren’t afraid to boot people out if necessary.
"There wasn’t a single problem."
According to those who attended, partygoers danced to loud, thumping techno music played by a DJ inside a Quonset hut located at the rear of the property. Scores more spilled onto a grassy field outside the hut. The booze was flowing.
"It was a good party, it was fun," said 14-year-old Michael Cardarelli.
Though they are still awaiting toxicology results, police say the girl was likely drugged before she was assaulted.
The grassy area surrounding the hut Friday was strewn with debris: flattened beer containers, a used condom wrapper, empty cigarette boxes, a cooking pan with a mysterious yellow liquid.
The hut — which featured a black-painted swastika — was mostly empty, save for a discarded black sweatshirt.
Another rave party, dubbed "A night in Bangkok," was held at the same location one week before. Police said they were aware of the first rave but not the second one.
The owners of the property, who live off-site, could not be reached for comment Friday.
The girl’s father urged the other alleged perpetrators Friday to come forward.
"Don’t hide if you don’t feel you’ve done anything wrong. Come forward," he said.
He also urged parents to talk to their children about the dangers of attending such events and about booze and drugs.
"It’s a very dangerous world — well beyond what we thought," he said. "It’s not easy being a parent these days."