PORT ALBERNI — A Port Alberni couple who lured and captured a man they claim was trying to have sex with their teenage daughter is now facing charges for their role in the ordeal.
The pair pleaded not guilty to charges of assault causing bodily harm and unlawful confinement during an appearance in provincial court in Port Alberni on Wednesday, Jan. 2.
NanaimoNewsNOW chose not to name the people involved to protect the identity of the underage girl.
The April 2018 incident, which was broadcast live on Facebook, garnered international media attention.
Speaking with media the following day, the girl's mother said she found messages from a 28-year-old man on her 13-year-old daughter's phone and reported it to Mounties. But after weeks of inaction the man allegedly continued to contact the young girl.
Frustrated and "terrified," the mother said she posed as her daughter in messages and invited the man to her home. When he arrived, the girl's mother, stepfather and a friend punched, tackled and zap strapped him on the floor before calling 911.
The couple said they told RCMP about the meet up and pleaded with them to come, but instead were told by police to drop the plan and allow an investigation to play out.
At the time, Port Alberni RCMP confirmed they were called to a home for a disturbance and found a man, who was the subject of an ongoing child luring investigation, injured and restrained.
Police said the couple was told numerous times to stop communicating with the alleged pedophile and their actions could have jeopardized their investigation.
Both of the people now charged said last April they did not regret their actions and were incredibly frustrated with the way the issue was handled by authorities.
"(RCMP) came in and said 'What about this guy's rights?' Well what about our daughter's rights? She's 13-years-old, she's not going to protect herself from this guy...Shouldn't a guy be able to protect his own family in his own house?," the girl's stepfather said at the time.
The friend involved in the incident pleaded guilty and will be sentenced when all three are set to make another court appearance on Jan. 11.
The man allegedly messaging the young girl has not been charged, but police say he is still the subject of an ongoing investigation.
— with files from David Wiwchar, 93.3 The PEAK (CJAV-FM)
On Twitter: @domabassi
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