Warning: Some details in the following story may be disturbing
A Winnipeg woman says she was sexually assaulted by a taxi driver a week and a half ago and left outside mostly naked and blocks from her home.
Michelle Hanslip said the incident happened early in the morning of Sunday, June 12th. Although some of her wounds have healed, she still has wounds and bruises from what happened.
“Instead of just keeping it to myself … this is just a form of healing,” she said. “It is not fair.”
That Saturday night, she said she went to a family member’s place for a gathering and took a Unicity taxi home around midnight with her ex-partner.
Hanslip said she was drunk. Some details are blurred, but she remembered a moment during the ride where the taxi driver stopped, got out and removed her ex from the vehicle before continuing to drive.
“I remember the taxi driver sitting back in his front driver’s seat,” she said. “Where he had taken me, I do not know.”
She says she woke up on Sunday at her mother’s house. Wounded and unclear about what happened, she took to the hospital the following day and called the police.
An investigator told her she was found by police blocks from her home with almost no clothes and no phone or purse, and that she mentioned to officers that morning that she had been sexually assaulted, Hanslip said.
“I broke down because it just kind of confirmed that what I had experienced was true,” she said.
She said police also told her she was found around 6 p.m. 02.00 – about 90 minutes after she assessed that her ex was removed from the vehicle. She says she can not account for everything that happened in between, but she remembers some things.
“I remember him specifically [the driver] grabbed me and I went with him and went into a place, “she said.” I do not know where I was. “
Hanslip said she had location tracking turned on in the Google Maps app on her now-missing phone. She was able to access this data on her computer and it shows an area near her home where she suspects she was taken.
Winnipeg police confirmed to CBC News that a sexual assault report has been filed in connection with this case.
The city of Winnipeg also said it received a complaint about the incident and that it will immediately launch an investigation.
“The vehicle rental office takes complaints seriously and residents are reminded to contact 311 to report any concerns as all complaints are investigated,” a city spokesman said in a statement.
The city said potential disciplinary outbursts under the vehicle rental charter include reprimands, retraining, financial fines and license suspension and cancellation.
Manmohan Gill, Unicity Taxi chief, said the company became aware of the incident on Thursday and will investigate the matter.
“We’re just trying to figure out what exactly happened,” he said. “Nothing has been proven yet, well, but if he is found guilty, action will be taken.”
Awaiting the results of an investigation, the driver will be allowed to continue driving, Gill said.
“These incidents should not happen to anyone,” Gill said. “All drivers who, when it comes to training in the office, we tell them straight away, such as these things are strictly not allowed at all.”
Hanslip says she feels let down by Unicity.
“We should not feel insecure, and that’s how I feel now that he knows that guy is still driving,” she said.
She hopes her Google Maps location tracking data, vehicle footage from the taxi and test results from her hospital visits will help authorities target the driver.
Hanslip received support from her loved ones, who reached out after she wrote about what happened on social media. Some women shared similar stories, and she hopes sharing her helps others emerge.
“I know it’s happening,” she said. “I do not feel alone.”