A Halifax police officer accused of mishandling the investigation of an alleged sexual assault in 2018 says he accepts blame for failing to collect the woman’s clothing as evidence.
Const. Bojan Novakovic is testifying before the Nova Scotia Police Review Board in response to a complaint from Carrie Low, who was allegedly abducted and raped by two men on May 18, 2018, in a trailer in the Halifax area.
Witnesses at the review board have said Novakovic asked “blaming questions” to Low in the hospital the day after her alleged rape, and have criticized the fact it took him 10 days to collect the clothing she had worn that night.
Novakovic said today it didn’t occur to him to collect her clothing and that he had admitted his error to superiors, but he said he never asked Low accusatory questions.
The review board has heard that Halifax police failed to search the trailer where Low was allegedly raped, despite the fact Low had given Novakovic the exact address.
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Novakovic says he did his duty to note the address in his report and says he thought police investigators could have viewed his notes and acted on them.
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He went through an internal police disciplinary process and was docked eight hours of pay for failing to collect Low’s clothing and for failing to tell a supervisor about the crime scene location.
Low is appealing Novakovic’s penalty and seeking recommendations from the board to improve how the joint RCMP-Halifax sexual assault unit handles cases.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 20, 2023
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