Former Kelowna Mountie faces new civil suit alleging sexual harassment and assault - InfoNews

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Former Kelowna Mountie faces new civil suit alleging sexual harassment and assault

September 20, 2020 - 6:05 PM

A former Kelowna Mountie is again being accused of sexual assault and sexual harassment, according to a civil lawsuit filed this week.

Brian Burkett has already had four lawsuits of a similar nature filed against him, in addition to seven counts of breach of trust that were filed in 2019. The criminal charges allege he leveraged the power of his position within the RCMP to pursue a sexual relationship with women he encountered while in the line of duty.

This latest incident, as outlined in the Notice of Civil Claim filed by lawyer Michael Patterson Sept. 17, is alleged to have taken place Feb. 28, 2016. 

Burkett, according to the court document, impounded a vehicle belonging to a woman, whose name is being withheld, after learning she was a prohibited driver.

READ MORE: Brian Burkett has lawsuits against him

The woman alleges that once the tow truck driver departed, Burkett began to make comments about her body. He asked her about her relationship status and other personal questions, according to the. document.

She said she was under the impression that taking her personal information was part of the standard police investigation procedure.

However, to her “surprise and distress,” Burkett sent inappropriate pictures of himself via text message. He also allegedly texted her that he would be visiting while he was on shift and that he expected certain sexual favours, outlining "in his text message the sexual acts that he expected the plaintiff to perform,” according to the notice of civil claim.

She said she did not reply at first to Burkett’s messages and then he threatened to sexually assault her.

“Burkett increased his focus on the plaintiff by making repeated threatening phone calls to the plaintiff while she was at her place of work,” the civil suit states.

He allegedly informed her if she didn’t have sex with him she would spend time in prison for driving while prohibited.

“Burkett manipulated, stalked and harassed the plaintiff repeatedly with threats of arrest,” according to the document.

“The plaintiff repeatedly asked Burkett to stop the harassment. The plaintiff advised Burkett that she would be making a formal complaint to his supervisor, however, Burkett advised the plaintiff that no one would believe her story.”

Following approximately four days of constant harassment and threats by Burkett, the woman alleges she developed severe depression which caused her to fear for her life.

“The plaintiff advised Burkett that she was in a state of distress and that she was feeling mentally unwell,” according to the court document.

“Burkett advised the plaintiff that she should meet with him and he would take her to obtain help.”

Burkett allegedly met with her while on duty, according to the document, and coerced her into sex.

She felt “powerless” and “Burkett sexually assaulted (her) in his vehicle and left (her) own the side of the road,” according to the court document.

Burkett allegedly continued to harass the plaintiff on Facebook even after the RCMP arrested him for breach of trust, according to the suit.  She eventually left the city to avoid Burkett.

“As a direct, foreseeable and proximate result of the defendant’s unlawful actions, the plaintiff has suffered emotional distress, humiliation, shame and embarrassment all to the plaintiffs damage,” the court document states.

"The defendants committed the acts herein despicably, maliciously and oppressively with the wrongful intention of injuring the plaintiff by engaging in improper behaviour amounting in malice and in conscious disregard of the rights and welfare of the plaintiff.”

The Attorney General of Canada, the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General are named alongside Burkett and as a result of their combined actions, the Notice of Civil Claim alleges the woman suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, diminished self-worth, diminished ability to concentrate, repeated and ongoing nightmares, depression, anxiety, difficulty coping with emotional stress, feelings of guilt, responsibility and self-blame, nervous shock, emotional anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life.

As a result, she has suffered financial loss and she is seeking compensation for loss of wages past and future, recovery of health care costs and aggravated and punitive.

Burkett has yet to file a response. Allegations against him have yet to be proven in court.

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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