New special prosecutor appointed in case against former Kamloops sheriff

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KAMLOOPS - A new special prosecutor has been appointed to a case involving a former deputy sheriff in Kamloops.

The B.C. Prosecution Service says in a news release that special prosecutor Michael Tammen has been appointed to the Supreme Court of B.C., which means he'll be replaced by Vancouver lawyer Brock Martland.

In a news release the prosecution service says Martland has been given a mandate to conduct an independent review and assessment of the current charges, provide legal advice to the investigative agency and continue the prosecution and any subsequent appeal if he determines that the prosecution is warranted.

Kevin Johnston was facing four charges when Tammen was appointed back in September 2016, including three counts of communicating with a person believed to be underage for the purpose of facilitating a sexual offence.

Another charge of invitation to sexual touching was recently stayed by Tammen following a preliminary inquiry held in Kelowna. The alleged offences occurred between Aug. 8, 2016 and Aug. 27, 2016.

Johnston was the target of a vigilante group's sting in which a member allegedly pretended to be a 14-year-old girl and exchanged online messages with the former deputy sheriff.

Johnston is no longer employed with the B.C. Public Service. His next court appearance is expected to be on July 6 in Kelowna to fix a date for his jury trial.

The allegations against him have not been proven in court.

Special prosecutors are appointed to avoid perception of biases or undue influence, in this case because Johnston was likely in contact with many Crown counsel and other lawyers through his job.


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