Three sisters who endured sexual abuse for years are feeling betrayed yet again. Jeeti Pooni says she was 11 years old when she was sexually assaulted by someone her parents trusted. She didn’t disclose the abuse until she was in her 20s, and says when she did, her sisters told her they, too, were abused by the same man. Later, all three decided to pursue criminal charges against the alleged abuser.
Manjit Singh Virk was convicted on April 6, 2018, of sexually abusing Pooni, sister Salakshana and their cousin Rajinder Rana.
But on Monday, a B.C. Supreme Court Judge stayed those convictions, arguing that excessive court delays prevented the accused from getting a fair trial.
"It was a complete shock," Pooni told As It Happens host Carol Off. "After all these years, and after a guilty verdict, this is not what one would expect from the system."
She posted a message for PM Trudeau on Facebook saying, “Yesterday we confronted a painful truth of a completely failed criminal justice system. When this happens one goes straight to the top. My most important message to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on behalf of my sisters and I. For those of you who have been inquiring and waiting for the Supreme Court decision, here is the video of my reaction. This is a call to action. Please share and comment.”
Last year the National Film Board of Canada had announced the release of “Because We Are Girls” by Baljit Sangra – a feature-length, intimate documentary about three Punjabi-Canadian sisters from B.C. who, after years of sexual abuse by a family member, unite to fight the abuser in the courts.
Photo: Jeeti Pooni/Facebook