Former Mountie, coach apologized on tape to victims, but was it legally obtained? | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Former Mountie, coach apologized on tape to victims, but was it legally obtained?

Image Credit: FILE PHOTO
September 25, 2017 - 5:30 PM

KAMLOOPS - It took hours before Alan Davidson acknowledged any of his actions involving alleged sexual acts with minors from 40 years ago.

But after sitting in an interview room with RCMP Sgt. Darren Carr in 2014 and engaging in little conversation, he did admit to having some sexual actions with underage boys, before looking into the camera and personally apologizing to each complainant in the case.

Davidson is charged with seven counts of indecent assault dating back to alleged incidents between 1976 and 1981, when he had roles as a sports coach and an auxiliary RCMP officer in Barriere. None of the allegations have been proven in court.

Lawyers are arguing over whether or not Davidson’s admission is admissible during his trial. In a voir dire hearing in Kamloops Supreme Court today, Sept. 25, the final portion of an eight-and-a-half-hour interview was played. A voir dire is a trial within a trial, to determine whether certain evidence is admissible in the main trial.

For the majority of Davidson’s interview with Carr, he remained tight-lipped and told the officer he wouldn’t answer any questions, look at any evidence, or say anything at all without his lawyer present.

Davidson told Carr at many points in the interview that he didn’t remember everything from that time period, and didn’t remember having any physical contact with any of the complainants.

When another officer came into the interview room to speak with Davidson, he got emotional for the first time that day. The officer told Davidson [information removed Sept. 27, 2017 by court order].

Davidson broke down at that point, sobbing and putting his head in his hands. The officer told Davidson that nobody expected him to remember 100 per cent of everything, but by saying he didn’t remember any of the alleged incidents, he was re-victimizing these people.

After that, Davidson opened up to Carr, confirmed he engaged in some sexual activity with some of the complainants, including one who testified at the beginning of the trial. Davidson also told Carr that when these alleged incidents happened, he had a habit of over-indulging in alcohol and was struggling with his sexuality.

At one point, Carr left the room and told Davidson that if he wanted to apologize to the complainants, he could look in the camera and do so. Once Carr left, Davidson went through each complainant and apologized for his alleged actions.

“I pray that you can start over and have some closure to your situation,” Davidson said of one complainant.

“I know you looked up to me and I let you down,” he said of another.

After his apology, Carr came back into the room and went over release procedures with Davidson.

Carr was in court today, and both defence lawyer John Gustafson and Crown prosecutor Alex Janse questioned him on the stand. Carr testified that Davidson didn’t appear to be impaired by alcohol or drugs, and didn’t seem overly tired.

But Gustafson pointed out that Davidson yawned several times during the interview, consistently exercised his right to remain silent, and seemed frustrated at certain points.
Gustafson said Davidson expressed concerns about not being able to remember things that were said during the interview, and that he received legal advice to not speak to the officer.

“It appeared that he was deliberately not responding,” Gustafson said.

“Correct,” Carr responded.

Gustafson said Carr seemed to be trying to persuade Davidson into engaging in any kind of conversation, whether it had to do with the allegations at hand or not. Carr said it’s a common practice for interviewers and is referred to as the dialogue phase.

Davidson told Carr that when he was a Mountie and was investigating, he would allow people to exercise their right to silence, and asked Carr to give him that same right.

“I think I’ve had enough today,” Davidson told Carr in the tape. “I’m tired, I’ve been here how many hours now?”

“You think he seemed frustrated at this point?” Gustafson said.

“I think that’s a fair characterization,” Carr said, noting that was the only time he felt Davidson was frustrated during the interview.

Although Davidson told Carr he was tired, Carr said he was never concerned it went past a threshold of him being exhausted. At that point in the tape, Gustafson said, Davidson had been in custody for 11 hours and Carr had been interviewing him for about six hours.

Lawyers are expected to begin arguments tomorrow over whether or not Davidson’s admission will be admissible in his trial.

For more coverage on this trial, go here.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ashley Legassic or call 250-319-7494 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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