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Is it legal if I investigate a assault that is reported to…

Customer Question
Is it legal if...

Is it legal if I investigate a sexual assault that is reported to me, as an event organizer

Lawyer's Assistant: What province are you in? It matters because laws vary by location.

Alberta

Lawyer's Assistant: What steps have you taken so far?

None, but my board wants to get the other person's side

Submitted: 3 months ago.Category: Canada Law
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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
We host effects where nudity is permitted, and the person that is being accused is one of our key volunteers.
Answered in 14 hours by:
3/23/2018
Lawyer: Debra, Lawyer replied 3 months ago
Debra
Debra, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 105,482
Experience: Lawyer
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Hello! My name is Debra (formerly known as Legal Ease). Thank you for your question. I'm reviewing it now, and will post back again shortly.

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Lawyer: Debra, Lawyer replied 3 months ago

I am sorry to hear of this difficult situation.

Are you asking if the Board can ask the volunteer for their side of the story?

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
If we, as a board/committee, investigate by asking the person accused for their side (which then also lets them know that someone reported against them, and even if we don't tell him who it is he is likely going to know who), and we ask witnesses to come forward and also take their statements, are we breaking the law. It has been mentioned that this could be obstructing justice if the victim chooses to go to the police and we've already done investigating without the appropriate training. So I'm trying to find out what legally we're allowed to do
Lawyer: Debra, Lawyer replied 3 months ago

You are not breaking the law or obstructing justice.

And if as a Board you have to make a decision that may harm the volunteer in the sense that he may lose rights or privileges in fact you are obligated to conduct a fair and thorough investigation which most assuredly has to include giving this volunteer a chance to answer to the allegations. It is their procedural right. You could be sued successfully by the volunteer if you don't provide them with their rights to procedural fairness.

Does that help?

Please feel free to post back with any follow-up questions you may have. If you don't have any then I hope I have earned a 5 star rating but if you don't feel that I have please don't hesitate to reply back and let me know what more I can do to assist you. Finally, please know that even after you rate me I will be here for you and you can ask follow-up questions if you think of them later on at no further charge of course.

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Is there a legal responsibility to have training before investigating sexual assault? Or a procedure that tells us how to determine who to believe?
Lawyer: Debra, Lawyer replied 3 months ago

No. You aren't investigating from a criminal perspective. You are akin to an employer but this is a volunteer. You have to decide as a Board if the volunteer should be removed from their position or not.

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Lawyer: Debra, Lawyer replied 3 months ago

Is there anything more I can help you with at this point in time?

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