Prison assault allegations reported to police three months after brought forward

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OTTAWA — The Correctional Service of Canada is apologizing for wrongly saying it called police right away when it heard allegations that a guard in a Nova Scotia institution had sexually assaulted a female inmate.

On Wednesday, the service that operates federal prisons said it notified police “as soon as the allegations of misconduct were brought forward” but it has changed its story following questions from The Canadian Press.

The corrections service now says it received allegations of sexual assault by a correctional officer at the Nova Institution for Women in Truro in December 2018 but didn’t contact police for three months, while it conducted an internal investigation.

The Correctional Service says it followed Treasury Board guidelines in putting the officer on administrative leave during that investigation, and contacted police with details from the review on March 29.

Truro Police Chief David MacNeil said this week his force got a complaint about a sex assault at Nova Institution on March 27 and opened an investigation the next day, but he refused to say any more about the timeline with the case still open.

The correctional service now faces a lawsuit from three women in the case.

The Canadian Press