(By Michael Mui, 24 Hours Vancouver)
Delta police has arrested a 14-year-old boy after the alleged sexual assaults of six women in the Tsawwassen area.
The latest incidents, which occurred between May and July, come as a man, who was 17 when he attempted to sexually assault four women in Delta’s Mackie Park in 2010, awaits his fate for the botched sex-assault killing of teenager Laura Szendrei.
Delta police Sgt. Ciaran Feenan said Thursday nobody was harmed in the six alleged assaults, which involved women ranging from 18 to in their 30s, who were strangers to the teen. The victims were allegedly approached from behind and grabbed in the buttocks, waists or breasts.
“This isn’t a common investigation that we would be doing on a regular basis,” Feenan said.
Dr. Michael Elterman, a Vancouver clinical and forensic psychologist, said the case is a sign sexual offences committed by youth are now being taken far more seriously than they were in the past.
“In years gone by, the authorities, including the police and the ministry, have not taken teenagers’ behaviour of a sexual nature very seriously … (putting) it down to sort of adolescent, teenaged, acting out,” Elterman said.
That attitude to what he calls the generally “impulse” driven offences is now changing. In his experience examining adult sex offenders, he found many had began offending in their teens, typically around 14 to 15.
He said the case is also unusual as teen sex offenders he’s seen in the past have often targeted younger victims.
Dr. Joti Samra, another Vancouver psychologist, said more victimized women are now willing to step forward.
“Historically, sexual offences are grossly under reported,” she said. “We have more education in our society (now), and that would lead victims to say, ‘This is OK, it’s not my fault … I should speak about it.”
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