Metro Van cops back home after sexual assault case acquitted in Cuba
Two Metro Vancouver police officers who have been acquitted of sex assault charges in Cuba are finally back home with their families on Canadian soil.
According to their families, Vancouver Police Const. Mark Simms and Port Moody Police Department's Const. Jordan Long arrived in Vancouver early Saturday morning, ending their 10-month ordeal.
Simms was charged with sexual assault of a 17-year-old Ontario girl while vacationing on the island nation in March but was acquitted by a five-person panel of judges in November.
Long was charged with being an accomplice to the assault but was also acquitted by the all-female panel.
Despite being cleared three months ago, both men were prevented from returning to B.C. because the prosecutors appealed the verdict.
The families said the court rejected the appeal and agreed with the trial judge that the girl fabricated the assault.
"These innocent victims of a malevolent lie are, at long last, home with their families. This last step happened unexpectedly quickly. Words cannot express our profound gratitude for all the support you have given us in so many different ways," the families wrote in a statement.
"This ordeal has taken a terrible toll in so many ways and there are many steps to go through before Jordan and Mark can be restored to normal life. However, we are confident that with the love and support that surrounds them, they will overcome the trauma they have endured."
They say the two officers are now spending some much-needed time with loved ones.
Despite the acquittal, the officers could still face an investigation now that they're back home.
The B.C. Office of the Police Complaints Commissioner may open its own investigation, but it will need to gather more information before deciding the next steps.