Central Okanagan RCMP officer's sexual assault trial gets underway | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Central Okanagan RCMP officer's sexual assault trial gets underway

Kelowna Law Courts
February 16, 2021 - 2:55 PM

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The sexual assault trial for Southeast District RCMP Const. Chad Vance got underway Tuesday, with the victim testifying that he had attempted to rape her while she was sunbathing on his deck.

The woman, whose identity is under a publication ban, had been in a long-distance relationship with Vance for around six months in 2015 when the alleged attack occurred. She reported it in January of 2019.

She had first met Vance when he was in her Kootenay-area town investigating a crime, she testified. They went for dinner and hit it off.

“I liked him initially. I liked what he did for a living. I found it intriguing. On our (first) date he talked about his children he loved… it was a nice conversation,” she said. “He seemed to have it together.”

In the months that followed, they texted and talked regularly. She said they only met up in person somewhere between four to six times due to distance and their respective family obligations before the alleged assault.

While they didn’t see each other often, in cross-examination she indicated the relationship was serious and they had exchanged “I love yous” and had discussed how they could live together.

That changed, she said, on an unspecified date in July.

The woman said had stayed overnight and was suntanning on her stomach on the cot on his back deck at around 1 p.m.

They’d had lunch and she said she’d had “one small glass of wine” and Vance had more.

“I was laying there and then I know that Chad was on top of me — my backside — I could not move and I view myself as a strong individual,” she said. 

“He held me down, but I believe he must have held onto the sides of the cot. I asked him to get off of me. I couldn’t move, I couldn’t even turn my neck, he’s a strong guy.”

She said she yelled at him as loud as she could for 10 minutes while he tried to penetrate her — something that he had only partially succeeded in doing. Throughout it all, she said, he didn’t speak.

When he got off, she remembered standing up and asking him what he was doing.

“Initially he said nothing. He had his hands on his waist and he looked pissed right off,” she said. 

She told him that he hurt her.

“And he said ‘you can’t tell me that hurt,’” she said, adding she probably called him sick or something and then left.

She said they didn’t speak afterwards, and she cried the whole way home. She said she went to an area health clinic a few days later, after some bleeding.

In cross-examination she conceded that they could have spoken a month later. She was going to a conference in California and asked if he wanted to go. She had also sent him some health and wellness materials and discussed them with him.

Then a year later, in fall of 2016,  they spoke again about a family issue that she thought he could advise her on due to his work. They also had a romantic meet-up at a hotel in Salmon Arm around that time, which the woman didn’t initially report to police when she was interviewed in January of 2019. She said she hadn't come forward with their later contact in her initial interview because she was embarrassed to be moving backward in her life. She had subsequent interviews in February and March of 2019.

In the months that followed, Vance was charged with these crimes and suspended with pay and his duty status is subject to continual review and assessment, B.C. RCMP senior media relations officer Staff Sgt. Janelle Shoihet said in a December 2019 email to iNFOnews.ca.

At the time, she said the RCMP's Internal Code of Conduct processes were initiated.

Defence lawyer Trevor Martin focused many of his cross-examination questions on the timeline of events, and whether she was truthful when indicating that she drank very little.

Of note, Martin said that the timeline he had figured out had the encounter occur mid-July and her visit to the health clinic was the first week of August.

The trial is scheduled for four days.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Kathy Michaels or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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