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SiRT Determines No Charges to be Laid in Allegation of Sexual Assault Against RCMP Member
The province's independent Serious Incident Response Team (SiRT) has concluded its investigation regarding an allegation of sexual assault made against a member of the RCMP in December, 2014. It was determined that the evidence of the complainant and her boyfriend was not sufficiently reliable and therefore no charges will be laid against the officer.
On December 12, 2014, a female and her boyfriend made a complaint to the RCMP in relation to a highway traffic stop on December 11 at Exit 23, Highway 101, east of Digby. In that complaint both the female and male alleged a male officer put his hand up under the female’s top and touched her breasts during a search for illegal drugs on the side of the highway.
As the Police Act gives SiRT sole jurisdiction over the investigation of sexual assault allegations made against a police officer, SiRT was contacted and assumed responsibility for the investigation. During the investigation the officer complained about gave a statement denying the allegations. He explained that he was able to search the female visually as her clothing was tight. This was consistent with direction he had been given from a superior officer by text message to conduct only a visual search of the female. A second officer, who was present during the incident, confirmed the evidence of the first officer. Their statements appeared credible and were consistent.
The investigation demonstrated the stop of the car was as a result of information received by the RCMP that indicated the car contained a quantity of cocaine.
The female and male were both interviewed by SiRT. In his statement the male stated that in fact he was unable to see whether the officer put his hand under the woman’s shirt. In her statement the female now indicated the officer did not put his hand under her top but only ran the tips of his fingers under her top below her breasts, with his fingertips brushing the bottom of her breasts.
Those and other inconsistencies compromised the reliability of the male and female’s statements. In the circumstances there were insufficient grounds to consider charges in the matter.
The full report is available at http://sirt.novascotia.ca.
SIRT is responsible for investigating all serious incidents involving police in Nova Scotia. Investigations are under the direction and control of independent civilian director Ron MacDonald, who is solely responsible for decisions respecting the laying of any charge.
Ron MacDonald, QC