Two-Year Probe by OPP and Treaty Three Police Service Yields Charges Against Individual
Wabaseemoong First Nation, ON – A comprehensive two-year investigation by the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB) and the Treaty Three Police Service has culminated in the arrest of one individual concerning a serious assault case in Wabaseemoong First Nation.
The Initial Investigation: On November 21, 2021, officers from the Treaty Three Police Service arrived at Wabaseemoong First Nation to delve into an incident involving injuries sustained by a five-year-old female. The gravity of the assault necessitated further probing, prompting the involvement of additional OPP resources.
Collaborative Effort: The investigative mantle was shared between the OPP Major Case Investigation Team, OPP Forensic Identification Services, and the Treaty Three Police, all operating under the guidance of the OPP Criminal Investigation Branch.
Arrest and Charges: Fast forward to October 27, 2023, Anne McDonald, aged 53, from Wabaseemoong First Nation, was apprehended and is facing multiple charges under the Criminal Code:
- Aggravated Assault (Section 268): This charge is levied when an individual wounds, maims, disfigures, or endangers the life of the complainant. Conviction can result in a maximum imprisonment of 14 years.
- Criminal Negligence Causing Bodily Harm (Section 221): Charged when an individual’s act or omission, showing wanton or reckless disregard for the lives or safety of others, causes bodily harm. It carries a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment.
- Fail to Provide Necessaries of Life to a Child (Section 215(2)(a i)): This pertains to failing to provide essential needs to a child under 16, which is punishable with a maximum imprisonment of 5 years.
- Abandoning a Child (Section 218): When a person unlawfully abandons or exposes a child under the age of 10 years, where the child’s life is or is likely to be endangered or health is or is likely to be permanently injured. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 5 years imprisonment.
At the time of the incident, McDonald was associated with Wabaseemoong Child and Family Services. Post-arrest, she was released from custody and is slated to appear before the Ontario Court of Justice in Kenora on November 23, 2023.
Community Reflection: The progression of this long-standing investigation to the stage of arrest sheds light on the judicious efforts by law enforcement agencies in ensuring justice, regardless of the time elapsed. The charges pressed underscore the severe legal repercussions awaiting those engaging in harmful acts against vulnerable members of the community.