Three police officers in Toronto have been acquitted of sexually assaulting a colleague, and charges from police have been dropped

TORONTO – Three police officers in Toronto who were acquitted of sexually assaulting a parking attendant at a hotel in 2015 have also had their charges from the Police Services Act (PSA) dropped in court.

Nearly five years after the alleged sexual assault took place, prosecutors under the law – legislation governing police behavior in Ontario – were withdrawn because the prosecutor did not want to “participate in the process,” a lawyer told one of the officers. . CTV News Toronto.

“It is quite understandable that the complainant or the survivor would decide that she would not go through it once, let alone twice,” said Pam Hrick, CEO and Advocate General of the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund.

York Regional Police, which oversaw the investigation as an arm’s length agency, confirmed the charges were withdrawn Monday.

The criminal defense attorney representing Constable Sameer Kara, one of the accused officers, said that had the PSA hearing continued, “he would once again have been found not guilty of any misdemeanor.”

“My client has been exposed to a cloud of suspicion and misconduct for too long,” Michael Lacy said. “Like anyone found innocent, he has the right to move on with his life.”

In 2017, Constables Kara along with Leslie Nyznik and Joshua Cabrero were acquitted of sexually assaulting a female colleague after a judge said she was unable to clearly understand whether the complainant agreed to have sex with the three men in the early morning hours. of 17 January 2015.

The night of Jan. 16 is said to be “rookie buy night,” according to the lawsuit, which included drinking at two bars and a strip club. Late at night, the officers and the complainant ended up in a hotel room at Westin Harbor Castle, which was rented by one of the officers.

There, the complainant, who cannot be identified under a court-ordered restraining order, said she was sexually assaulted by the three officers.

“I was powerless, I could not move, I could not speak, I could not stop what was happening,” she testified in the 2017 criminal case.

However, Ontario Superior Court Judge Anne Molloy disputed the “reliability” and “credibility” of the complainant’s testimony.

Molloy identified “inconsistencies” in the complainant’s testimony, such as the amount of alcohol she drank, and called her recollection of the events that unfolded “divided.”

While the complainant said she was unable to speak, move or watch, the judge in the criminal case said that video surveillance of her getting out of the cab “paints[ed] a completely different picture. ”

“When someone signs up to file a criminal complaint in a lawsuit, we ask a lot of the person who has experienced sexual violence to hold alleged perpetrators accountable,” Hrick said.

Hrick pointed to the “high burden” of evidence required in a criminal case involving allegations of sexual assault, which often results in a “large number” of cases not coming to court at all. “It’s a very high threshold,” she said.

“Witnessing in a criminal or court case about sexual assault can be a grueling and traumatic experience,” Hrick said.

The three 51-division officers remain suspended with pay while Toronto police review the withdrawal of the charges, according to a spokesman.

With files from Codi Wilson.

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