The Violation Case

British Colonist, July 29, 1869

The investigation into the charges preferred against the colored man William Francis Kerr, by Henry Robinson, for a gross outrage alleged to have been committed upon the persons of his daughters, three helpless little girls, named Anna, Catherine, and _____ Robinson, of the tender ages of 8, 6 , and 4 respectively, took place yesterday in the Police Court, but the enquiry revealed particulars far too revolting and disgusting for publication in our columns, suffice it to say that after hearing the testimony of the father and mother of the much abused children and that of two of their daughters (who were evidently frightened, and spoke somewhat incoherently; also Mr. Sampson, constable of Salt Spring, and Doctors Helmcken and Davie, the magistrate committed the prisoner for trial in the case of Anna Robinson, the oldest daughter, but dismissed the other two charges.

Previous to committal the prisoner made the following statement:

Worked for Mr. Robinson for the last two months at Salt Spring; I commenced working on 30th May and worked till last of June and then came to Victoria. I stopped a few days and returned and returned on the 6th July, and have worked ever since clearing up land, etc.s, for Mr. R., who was always interfering, saying I did not work enough, and should work for six months without sharpening my ax. On Tuesday when I was arrested I wend up to the house and saw two or three men armed with guns and rifles, and Sampson arrested me; I did not know what for, and thought it was a second charge made by Burnside, with whom I had some trouble in the police court. I never had any connection whatever with the children. I did not know except from appearance whether they were males or females, and have never been nearer to them than when their mother has been present and I was teaching them their lessons. I am not guilty.

Source: "The Violation Case," British Colonist, July 29, 1864

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