Pastor Charged With Sexual Assault, Police Urge Victims To Come Forward

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Sexual assaults often go widely unreported, as victims don't wish to become part of a police investigation or court proceedings.

Scherbanic took the stand in his own defense, telling jurors he never sexually assaulted anyone.

She got inside the vehicle and found a man in the back seat, officials said.

A Manitoba cabinet minister who says she was raped at 13 says the province is taking an important step by allowing victims of sexual violence to file an anonymous report with police. The information will also be entered in a national database to track violent offenders.

Three community-based partner agencies will now handle the intake of such reports and forward them to police. Those who cannot visit one of the agencies can instead call and speak to someone.

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Relationships are the key to getting people to tell their stories, she said, and third-party reporting helps form those relationships.

Third-party reporting won't replace traditional reporting, but will be treated for informational purposes only. With the #MeToo and Time's Up movements, there has been an increase, she said.

"We know that in British Columbia, for example, advocates had said in the aftermath of some very high-profile serial rape cases that had there been third-party reporting available, there would have been perhaps identification of a trend, and perhaps an arrest made earlier", said Squires. If third-party reporting had been an option, Squires said she might have felt supported enough to come forward sooner as she dealt with the trauma as an adult.

The court observed that the girl has been consistent in her statements before the police and the court.

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