Alejandra Pulido Guzman and Delon Shurtz
A small group braved the icy roads and chilly weather Friday morning to gather once again outside the Lethbridge Provincial Courthouse in support of a six-week-old baby who had been assaulted and sexually assaulted.
Many of the supporters who attended the rally on Friday morning were also present on Wednesday and say they will continue to come back every time the baby’s case is in front of the court.
Earlier this month Lethbridge police charged a father and mother in connection with the assault and sexual assault of their six-week-old daughter.
Officers were called to a northside home on Jan. 18, to check on the welfare of the infant after receiving information she was being abused.
Upon arrival officers located the baby in medical distress, and EMS transported her to hospital where her injuries were found to be extensive.
A 52-year-old man is charged with one count of failure to provide the necessaries of life, one count of aggravated assault, one count of sexual assault, and one count of sexual contact with a child. A 31-year-old woman is charged with failing to provide the necessaries of life.
Both accused remain in custody at the Lethbridge Correctional Centre, and neither was required to attend court Friday, where Calgary lawyer John Oman represented the mother, and duty counsel lawyer Brett Carlson appeared for the father.
Carlson told court the father is still looking to hire a lawyer, and he has been approved for coverage through Legal Aid Alberta.
“It’s just going through lawyers until someone accepts,” Carlson said.
The mother’s lawyer simply said his client consents to remand pending a bail hearing.
The Crown, however, opposes the release of both accused.
Both matters have been adjourned until Feb. 3 at 9:30 a.m.
Outside the courthouse after the news broke about both accused remaining in custody, the crowd loudly cheered, and some tears were shed and hugs shared.
One of the baby’s supporters who loudly cheered and let out a big sigh of relief when she heard the news was Linda Wingfield, who was also present during the rally on Wednesday and said she will be coming back every time the case is in front of a judge.
“I felt like justice was served today. I know it’s not over, but this is what we were hoping for. We’re here as a voice of the baby,” said Wingfield.
She said that it does not matter if the people inside the courtroom could physically hear them, because many of those present need some kind of outlet for their sorrow, their grief and their anger.
“This is one way to express that, for you to come together as a community,” said Wingfield.
She said that by coming together people can share their thoughts.
“It is helpful and just feel like you’re not alone in the way you’re feeling,” said Wingfield.
Another supporter was Loretta Taylor, she said she was relieved when she heard the news and said she will be back next week.
“They should not get bail, they should not get released at all. They should be charged with attempted murder and fullest extent of the law,” said Taylor.
She also said she hopes more people would come and show their support next week.
“I encourage everyone to come out and show your support for this baby and any child that’s going through this, the courts need to have stronger and firmer laws and penalties for the accused,” said Taylor.
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