Helpless Canadian woman stabbed and raped, then sent to jail with her rapist

June 7, 2017 2:42 am

The woman was stabbed in the hand as she tried to fend off a knife to her chest. Photo / Supplied

It’s a story that almost beggars belief.
Attacked and sexually assaulted by a notorious rapist, a 29-year-old Canadian woman identified as Angela Cardinal* was thrown in the same jail as her attacker. She was then forced to travel to court with him after a judge ordered her “detained to ensure her testimony”.
The Cree Indian woman was homeless in 2014 when she was dragged from the apartment block stairwell where she slept. She ended up inside the flat of convicted sexual predator Lance Blanchard, CBC reported.
On Tuesday, three years after the attack, the real story of the events that unfolded began to emerge.Blanchard hauled his victim by the hair into his apartment, sexually assaulted her, stabbed her and beat her.
Somehow, she managed to dial 911. She put the phone on loud speaker and tossed it across the room while he was attacking her.
In a haunting recording released this week, both parties can be heard pleading with police for help. She screams: “Help me, help me, I’ve been stabbed. He stabbed me.” He claims she broke in to his apartment and grabbed his knife.
“Get somebody here, I’m holding her down. You’re going to get arrested for break and entry,” Blanchard can be heard saying.
As if her ordeal was not difficult enough, Cardinal faced her attacker in court at a preliminary hearing. There, the nightmare got worse.
When she kept falling asleep in court and struggled to focus and answer questions, the prosecutor complained she “presented in a condition unsuitable for testifying, and we don’t know what the reason is”.
Judge Raymond Bodnarek then ordered the woman be kept in custody under a section of Canadian law to ensure her testimony.
After a weekend in the cells, she returned to court begging the judge release her and let her stay with her mother.
“I’m the victim and look at me, I’m in shackles,” she said. “Aren’t you supposed to commit a to go to jail?”
“It’s not a pleasant scene I’m living. I’m the fricken victim here.”
The judge did not agree, sending her back to the same jail in which Blanchard was held.
She spent five nights there.
Twice she was forced to take the 10-minute trip from the jail to the courthouse in the same van as him.
By day, she testified to his horrific attack. By night, she slept near him.
“He started stabbing me. He said he was going to make me ugly and stick me in a closet and keep me,” she told the court.
He groped her at knifepoint on a blood-soaked lounge, tried to tie her legs with electrical cords. She was stabbed in the palm as she blocked a knife to her chest.
She ran for the door, but could not open it with her blood-soaked hands.

She was the victim

Alberta Justice Minister Kathleen Ganly has now ordered two investigations into the case.
“She was the victim. We should have treated her as the victim,” she said.
“None of us will ever really understand what it was like for her to sit there and stare at the man who did this to her – while she’s trapped, essentially,” she said, after being told about the case recently by CBC reports.
“I’ve never seen a case like this. I mean, how many people did she come into contact with and nobody stood up and said, ‘Guys, I think this is wrong. I think we’ve made a mistake’.”
Ganly knows “there’s nothing that can ever be done to make it up”, but has apologised to the dead woman’s mother.
“We failed her at every level,” she said.
“She was a young woman and the victim of a horrific crime. The way she was treated in the system is absolutely unacceptable.”

Apology too late

It’s all too late for the woman, who was killed in an unrelated accidental shooting seven months after the 2015 preliminary hearing.
Blanchard’s trial still allowed her testimony, and he was found guilty of aggravated assault, kidnapping, unlawful confinement, aggravated , possession of a weapon and threatening to cause death or bodily harm.
In his written decision, Justice Eric Macklin made scathing remarks about the treatment of the victim.
“Her treatment by the justice system was appalling,” he wrote.
* Not her real name
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