April 03, 2013 - 6:12 PM
Three Kamloops RCMP officers and a jail guard should learn next week if they will stand trial after allegedly failing to intervene on two women having sex in city cells while in police custody.
Cpl. Kenneth Brown, Const. Evan Elgee, Const. Stephen Zaharia and jail guard David Tompkins, face one count each of breach of trust after accusations that they watched the female inmates engage in sexual acts via video on Aug. 18, 2010.
A Kamloops Provincial Court judge is hearing evidence in a preliminary inquiry, which will determine if they will face trial on the charges. It is expected to take seven days.
A publication ban prohibits reporting of that evidence until the trial is over, but one account of events comes from an August, 2012 public investigation by The Commission for Public Complaints against the RCMP, an independent federal agency.
It investigated a complaint by The Elizabeth Fry Society in the Lower Mainland. The report says that two women arrived separately at the downtown Kamloops RCMP detachment, both inebriated, in the early morning hours of August 18, 2010 and were placed together in a holding cell dubbed the 'drunk tank.'
Prisoner reports noted that one of the women had HIV.
The women engaged in intimate acts that lead to sexual acts within the cell, and both the RCMP members and guards are accused of watching the event take place, without intervening.
Four days following the incident Const. Kelly Butler reported the incident which led to a internal Code of Conduct investigation paralleled with a criminal investigation.
Four RCMP were initially suspended on Aug. 25, however charges were never approved against Const. Bryce Fieghen.
Findings from the commission's investigation concluded that it was unreasonable for involved parties to have allowed the sexual acts to take place, demonstrating a lack of professionalism. The report also found that Insp. Yves Lacasse, commander at the time, failed to identify the perception of bias regarding the internal investigation into the incident by local officers, who may have had personal relationships with the accused.
Lacasse has since announced his retirement to join the KGHM International team behind the proposed Ajax Mine.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013