The RINJ Foundation has been watching the case of Rinelle Harper and considers acting as an intervener in the trial of the perpetrators who did this horrendous crime.
The purpose of the intervention status request would be to intervene on sentencing in the event of a guilty verdict.
The RINJ Foundation as the intervenor would adduce opinion, fact, and statistical analysis relating to recidivism that would suggest offenders guilty of this type of crime are “dangerous offenders” and must be incarcerated for life in order that society be properly protected.
The RINJ Foundation is seeking advice and comments from all of its members as well as the general public. If you wish to submit a brief or discuss a brief you would consider submitting, feel free to contact the Executive Director [email protected]
Presently there is no project manager for this endeavor but an incipient legal team has begun to form under the Executive Director and a project manager will soon be appointed.
Anyone interested in leading this project can write to [email protected]
A 20-year-old man and a 17-year-old boy have been charged with attempted murder after Rinelle Harper was twice “sexually assaulted”, raped, and “left for dead” during a violent attack that took place on the banks of the Assiniboine River in Winnipeg. Canadians should be infuriated but today’s news has many events that earn preference.
This is a strikingly similar case to the August 2014 killing of Tina Fontaine. The key difference is that Rinelle Harper was alive when found by a passerby.
Again The RINJ Foundation is urging stiffer penalties in Canada.
Read more here about the RINJ position that “Extensive Problem of Sexual Violence in Canada is a ‘Crime and Punishment Issue’
The Sad Case of Tina Fontaine
One of the most heart-wrenching cases The RINJ Foundation has encountered is that of Tina Fontaine. With the help of many citizens urged by RINJ to come forward with their information no matter how large or small, Raymond Joseph Cormier, 53, has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of 15-year-old Tina Fontaine, whose body was pulled from the Red River in Winnipeg last year.
Fontaine’s body was found in a bag in the river on Aug. 17, 2014, eight days after she was reported missing.
Cormier, who is originally from New Brunswick but was living in Winnipeg for several years, was arrested December 9, 2015 in the Vancouver area.
He and this precious girl knew each other, as they both frequented a home in the east side of Winnipeg, according to deputy chief Danny Smyth.
“It is believed that Tina and Cormier had several encounters and that he murdered her on their last encounter,” Smyth told reporters.
“To me, it’s some closure, but he’s got to be punished for what he did,” said Joseph Favel, Fontaine’s great-uncle. We agree.
The couple cared for Fontaine, who was from Sagkeeng First Nation northeast of Winnipeg, for much of her life. At the time of her disappearance, she was in Winnipeg, in the care of Manitoba’s child-welfare system.
The suspect has been charged with murder.
November 04, 2013 07:19 pm
Powerview RCMP needs your help to find 14 year old Tina Fontaine.
Police were advised on Saturday that Fontaine, a resident of the RM of Alexander near Powerview, was missing. She was last seen at her home in the RM of Alexander last Friday. She has a history of attending Winnipeg.
She is described as being 5’2″ tall, 104 lbs, with black hair and brown eyes.
Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to call the Powerview RCMP at 204-367-2222
Powerview, Manitoba, July 17, 2014 – Tina Fontaine has been safely located. The RCMP would like to thank the Winnipeg Police Service, the public and the media for their assistance.
Powerview, Manitoba, July 11, 2014 – On July 10, 2014, at approximately 4:30 pm, Powerview RCMP received a report of a missing woman. Tina Fontaine, 15, from Powerview, Manitoba, was last seen on July 1, 2014, in Winnipeg.
Fontaine is described as aboriginal, approximately five feet tall, 100 pounds, with brown eyes and long, straight black hair that reaches to the middle of her back. She has pierced ears, a tattoo on the middle of her upper back and scars on both arms. She was wearing black tights, a hoodie, and pink and white runners.
Fontaine is considered an at-risk youth.
Anyone who has seen Fontaine or knows of her whereabouts is asked to call the Powerview RCMP at 204-367-8728 or call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477, submit a secure tip online at www.manitobacrimestoppers.com or text “TIPMAN” plus your message to CRIMES (274637).
August 9, 2014
WINNIPEG – Officers are investigating the slaying of a 15-year-old aboriginal girl from rural Manitoba whose body was found wrapped in a bag and dumped in the Red River after she ran away from her foster home.
Police on Monday identified the girl as Tina Fontaine, who was in the care of Child and Family Services and was reported missing Aug 9.
Winnipeg police Sgt. John O’Donovan said Tina had only been in Winnipeg for a month, but was rebelling and had run away. Described as five-foot-three-inches tall and weighing only about 100 pounds, she was last seen in the city’s downtown Aug. 8. She was wearing a white skirt, blue jacket and pink-and-white runners.
Her body was pulled from the river Sunday.
“At 15, I’m sure she didn’t realize the danger that she was putting herself in,” O’Donovan told a news conference.
“She’s a child. This is a child that’s been murdered. Society would be horrified if we found a litter of kittens or pups in the river in this condition. This is a child.
“Society should be horrified.”
Thelma Favel and her husband had been caring for Tina for about 10 years. Favel is Tina’s great aunt, but added Tina called her mama.
RCMP Under Investigation
In a statement released on its web site, The RINJ Foundation is alleging incompetence and racial discrimination in the conduct of police in the matter of Tina Fontaine.
Too often, RCMP officers are themselves ignored suspects in cases of missing and murdered indigenous women.
- In this case, Tina Fontaine as a young child has been in the care and temporary custody of police many times. In each case no remedial action and no crime preventative action was taken.
- Tina Fontaine died as a consequence of RCMP criminal incompetence; racial discrimination causing indifference to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act ( R.S.C., 1985, c. R-10) insofar as crime prevention is concerned; and criminal negligence.
The RINJ Foundation has been conducting its own investigation in the Fontaine matter since 2014.
Fontaine’s body was found in a bag in the river on Aug. 17, 2014, eight days after she was reported missing. Twenty three days before that, she had been missing and returned by the RCMP for at least the second time to whatever situation led to her death by the RCMP.
Punishment for Rapists
This is to indicate that rapists are not punished in Canada (a quasi-rehabilitative approach is preferred) and correspondingly Canada has a serious rape culture. Rapists are encouraged to do their crime in Canada because they get away with it. These are tough words but the facts support strongly worded assertions.
Too many aboriginal woman are still missing.
If you are a woman in Canada there is a high probability that you will suffer a sexual assault in your life. For men the probability is also high.
But if you are a First Nations Canadian woman, it is unlikely that you will not suffer a sexual assault in your life.
There is further reading material on this topic here at the RINJ Foundation’s web site. Some convenient topics are listed below.
Please consider submitting a brief or getting involved in this project. We will announce time lines as soon as possible.