First court date for cellblock sex accused
The three Kamloops Mounties and one civilian jail guards facing criminal charges following last summer’s so-called cellblock sex scandal are slated to make their first court appearances on Monday, July 18.
Cpl. Rick Brown, constables Stephen Zaharia and Evan Elgee and city employee David Thompkins are each charged with breach of trust by a public officer.
The charges stem from an investigation into allegations police and civilian jail guards watched as two female inmates engaged in a sexual act while in the RCMP’s holding cells at their Battle Street detachment.
The incident is alleged to have taken place on August 18, 2010. Four Kamloops Mounties and five city employees were originally implicated.
At the time, police said the nine detachment staffers watched the women via closed-circuit TV.
Initial reports indicated one of the women was HIV positive — a claim that hasn’t been confirmed by police.
One of the women believed to have been involved later filed suit against the police, the City of Kamloops, provincial and federal governments, seven city employees and the other woman.
In her statement of claim, the unidentified woman said she was too intoxicated to consent to the sexual act.
The officers were suspended from duty after the incident was reported.
Brown — a 20-year RCMP veteran who was watch commander at the time — remains suspended with pay; Zaharia and Elgee have been assigned to administrative duties.
Thompkins’ employment status isn’t known.
According to the Criminal Code of Canada, breach of trust by a public officer occurs when an official, “in connection with the duties of his office, commits fraud or a breach of trust.”
It is punishable by a maximum of five years in jail.