News Release Archive

Justice Minister Jay Abbass has asked the Amherst Police to
conduct a reinvestigation into the alleged sexual assault of
Jennifer Cooper while she was a resident at the Atlantic
Provinces Special Education Facility in 1985.

The decision to launch a reinvestigation is not based on a
finding of inappropriate or inadequate police investigation, but
rather on revisions that have been made to Section 16 of the
Canada Evidence Act, dealing with admissibility of evidence. In
1985, the Canada Evidence Act required corroborating evidence, or
a corroborating witness to gain a conviction on the evidence of a
child. That is no longer a requirement under the act. The
available evidence must be assessed in this context.

The decision to reopen the investigation was made on
recommendations put forward by Amherst Police Chief Charles
Parlee, and Bob Barss, director of Police and Public Safety,
Department of Justice.

A case management review was recently conducted by the Amherst
Police at the request of Mr. Barss.

The facility was operated by the Atlantic Provinces Special
Education Authority (APSEA), an interprovincial cooperative
agency established in 1975 by joint agreement among the ministers
of Education of New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and
Prince Edward Island.


Contact: Michele McKinnon  902-424-6811

trp                    Apr. 1, 1997 - 10:30 a.m.