Mounties, guard charged in jailhouse sex probe
KAMLOOPS, B.C. - Breach of trust charges were laid Friday against three British Columbia Mounties and one jail guard accused of watching two intoxicated female inmates having sex in a jail cell last summer.
That brings to eight the number of B.C. RCMP officers charged in the past week.
Also Friday, an RCMP officer was charged in a shooting during a traffic stop on Vancouver Island and a week ago, justice officials announced perjury charges against the four officers involved in the October 2007 death of Robert Dziekanski at Vancouver airport. The charges relate to their testimony at a public inquiry.
B.C.'s criminal justice branch announced Friday that Cpl. Kenneth Peter Rick Brown, Const. Evan Neil Larry Elgee, Const. Stephen Richard James Zaharia and guard David John Tompkins are accused of watching two women having sex on a closed-circuit video at the jail in Kamloops B.C. last August without intervening.
They are scheduled to make their first court appearance July 18. The branch declined any further comment, saying the matter is now before the court.
Both women were in custody for public intoxication, and police have said the investigation looked at whether the women were too drunk to consent to sex.
The incident came to light when RCMP announced a code-of-conduct and criminal investigation into a complaint that seven men had watched an act of consensual sex between two women but one of the women told a local newspaper that she was so drunk she didn't remember what happened.
The woman has filed a lawsuit in B.C. Supreme Court seeking damages. The action names the provincial and federal governments, the City of Kamloops, seven John Does and one Jane Doe.
The woman said she was arrested for being drunk following a party at a friend's house where she had been drinking all day. There was a fight and police showed up.
She was taken to the detachment, but released the next day without charges.
Five days later she said she was contacted by RCMP and told something was amiss, and five more days after that she learned she might have been exposed to HIV, she alleged.
"I was horrified and scared and mad," she told the Kamloops Daily News last fall.
RCMP Sgt. Rob Vermeulen said a code of conduct investigation against the officers is ongoing.
"At some point, they may have to face an adjudication board like a disciplinary hearing. Sanctions that can arise out of that are anything from reprimands to loss of up to 10 days pay to demotion and up to and including dismissal."
The City of Kamloops conducted its own review and cleared its workers of wrongdoing.
Earlier Friday, RCMP announced an aggravated assault charge against another one of its officers for a 2009 shooting incident.
On Sept. 18, 2009, Const. David Pompeo and another officer stopped a vehicle with two men in Chemainus, B.C., on Vancouver Island.
Police said Pompeo discharged his service gun once during the stop, hitting one of the men inside the vehicle. The injured man was hospitalized at the time but has recovered.
The four-year veteran is scheduled to appear in court next month to face the charge. He is currently on administrative duties.