Women's group reacts to Annex sex assault arrest
A Toronto women's group says the age of the Annex sexual assaults suspect shows boys are still being influenced by mysogyny and objectification of women.
Police have announced that a 15-year-old boy has been arrested in connection to 16 assaults in the area since the summer.
Sarah Blackstock with the women's group YWCA Toronto says the suspect's age is concerning.
"We're alarmed that he's so young and that he feels so emboldened to be able to engage in this kind of violence," Blackstock says.
"And I think that says a lot about how boys' attitudes towards women and girls are still very much influenced by mysogyny, the objectification of women and violence," she says.
Blackstock says she hopes the teen, if convicted, can be rehabilitated rather than just penalized.
"But then he's gonna come back into a society where there is a lot of violence and sexism and that is why I think our attention needs to be more at a societal level."
Some callers to Newstalk 1010's Jim Richards Showgram disagree with Blackstock that society is at blame for the Annex assaults.
"It's one isolated individual," says Lucille. "It's ridiculous to paint a whole generation as a bunch of rapists."
The teen suspect appeared in court on Monday morning.
If the teen is convicted, Daniel Brown, a youth court lawyer, says the courts will put more emphasis on rehabilitation than incarceration because of the suspect's age.
"Most young offenders with no prior history with the police will not go to jail unless it's a serious and violent offence," Brown says. "A sexual assault could fall into that category but doesn't necessarily."
He says, "The whole idea of the young offender regime is that it recognizes the fact that the adolescent hasn't matured yet and that being a young person, they're still able to be shaped by counselling and other rehabilitative measures."
Youth Arrested in Annex Sex Assaults