September 12, 2014 - 9:56 AM
KAMLOOPS – An extensive internal RCMP investigation and eventual trial started when one officer casually told another about “a couple of girls getting it on” in cells; the hope was to share a laugh.
But Cpl. Kelly Butler told Const. Evan Elgee she didn’t find his story funny. Instead, she wrote an email to upper management when she learned one of the women was self-declared HIV positive.
Butler told this story as she delivered evidence in the Kamloops Supreme Court trial for Cpl. Kenneth Peter "Rick" Brown on Thursday afternoon. Brown is charged with breaching trust in his role as watch commander when he and six others watched the two women via security footage and did not separate them.
She told the court yesterday she asked Elgee if the two were separated when officers learned they were having sex.
She said Elgee told her “I don’t know,” before walking away.
“The first thing that was on my mind was HIV,” Butler told the court. “(I was) concerned (the other woman) had been exposed to the HIV virus.”
Butler believed if the other woman had been exposed, it was an RCMP responsibility to inform her. Still, Butler said she “had doubts” her co-workers didn't split up the women and expressed that in her email to higher-ranking officers, including Brown.
When Butler made a routine phone call to Brown, she casually asked him if he received her email. A recording of their dialogue played in court.
Brown said he received the email. “Are you joking me or are you serious?” he said.
“I’m serious,” Butler said.
“It is serious; you just implicated about six of us in an internal complaint,” Brown said. “I was down there and saw it. There was probably three or four members and three city staff and it was already going on... in hindsight yeah, I probably should have stopped it, but it was basically ending as we were down there.”
Brown told Butler he wasn’t aware the one woman was HIV positive. She bypassed the prison-booking counter to sign in and fill out paperwork which would include declaring if she was infectious; she was heavily intoxicated. Both officers tried to figure out when the arrested woman told them she may be infectious.
“It’s one thing to joke about... but if she’s HIV positive it’s a can of worms,” Butler said. "The other girl has to be informed."
"I had no idea there (were) infectious people," Brown said.
"Well there you go, so how can you be faulted there?" Butler said.
"Well, I watched it on the video - it doesn't look great," Brown said.
Butler is one of 17 witnesses to deliver evidence at Brown’s trial. Arresting officers for one of the women are expected to take the stand Friday.
The trial is slated for a three-week period.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014