Kelowna RCMP officer found not guilty of sexual assault | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna RCMP officer found not guilty of sexual assault

February 18, 2021 - 3:04 PM

A Kelowna RCMP officer has been found not guilty of sexual assault due to the credibility of the evidence presented during his trial.

The sexual assault trial for Southeast District RCMP officer Const. Chad Vance, 50, began earlier this week. He was accused of sexually assaulting his former girlfriend while she was sunbathing in a bikini on his backyard deck in 2015.

Judge Roy Dickey said he agreed on the issue of the witness' credibility in both the Crown prosecutor Tim McKelvey's and defence lawyer Trevor Martin’s closing submissions.

“In the Canadian justice system, the burden of proving a criminal charge falls to the Crown, and in all criminal trials the Crown must prove all elements… beyond a reasonable doubt,” Dickey said in his decision today, Feb. 18.

“Often, especially with this type of charge, credibility of witnesses are an issue. This case is no different. The credibility of the complainant and the accused were a critical issue in this trial. The complainant says the incident occurred and the accused says it did not,” Dickey said.

Yesterday in court, Vance denied the sexual assault happened.

There is some evidence to support that the alleged victim was not in Kelowna at the time the offence allegedly occurred, Dickey said.

While Dickey did not agree with all of the defence’s submissions, he agreed the crown has failed to “meet a standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.”

The woman, whose identity is protected 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, 2019.

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