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Crown seeks jail time, defence wants conditional sentence for B.C. RCMP officer convicted of sex offences involving minors

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A B.C. RCMP officer convicted of sex offences involving minors will learn his fate on November 3, when a Supreme Court justice is scheduled to hand down a sentence for Andrew James Seangio.

The Crown is seeking a jail term of 18 to 24 months and two years’ probation for Seangio. The defence is asking for a conditional sentence to be served in the community.

In July, Seangio was found guilty by a jury on charges related to public masturbation and indecent exposure, in connection with incidents that took place between August 2018 and March 2019.

The court heard Seangio, a constable with the Richmond RCMP, drove up to students from two Vancouver private schools – York House School and Little Flower Academy – then exposed his genitals, touched himself and left the scene. The victims were teenage girls, with the youngest being just 14 at the time.

At a sentencing hearing on Monday at Vancouver Supreme Court, prosecutor Geoff Baragar told the court Seangio’s position as a police officer should be considered an aggravating factor.

“He was at the time serving as a member of Canada’s national police force,” Baragar said. “It is very much a breach of the trust which citizens would expect from a person holding that position.”

Baragar said other aggravating factors in the Crown’s submission include that the offences were “planned and deliberate,” as well as the vulnerability of the complainants.

“Each of them was walking home from school in daylight,” he said. “The evidence reveals Seangio specifically targeted school girls.”

Defence lawyer Glen Orris disagreed with the Crown argument relating to Seangio’s job being an aggravating factor.

“In my submission, that’s not the law and not the case. Mr. Seangio did not use his position as a police officer to effect the offences,” Orris said. “The fact that the victims were upset because they found out afterwards he was a police officer has nothing to do with Mr. Seangio.”

Orris also read a letter submitted by Seangio, in which he apologized for “what I’ve put everyone through”.

“The whole process has been significantly stressful for all those involved, but it was most stressful for the victims as well as their families,” Seangio said in the letter. “I’m very sorry for what they have gone through and hope that this trial brings them some sort of closure.”

Orris added Seangio is now married with a five-month-old baby, and has the support of his family.

During the trial, a Vancouver police detective testified authorities held safety presentations at both schools after receiving reports of the incidents, and also set up a tip line. The detective said several additional victims came forward, including one who had taken note of the suspect vehicle’s make and model, and the licence plate number.

Seangio was also accused of exposing himself to two undercover police officers who were walking through the Shaughnessy area in girls’ school uniforms as part of the investigation.

Seangio is currently suspended without pay from the RCMP, and an internal code of conduct process is still underway.

He also faces 37 charges in Ottawa related to sexual assault and voyeurism. Those allegations pre-date the charges in Vancouver.

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