Mounties, jail guard charged for watching women have sex in Kamloops jail cell

Three Kamloops RCMP officers — including a corporal — and a city jail guard are facing criminal charges after two women detained in an RCMP cellblock were observed engaging in sexual activity without any of the officers intervening.

B.C.’s Criminal Justice branch on Friday announced one charge each of “breach of trust by a public official,” an offence under the Criminal Code, against Cpl. Ken Brown, and Consts. Evan Elgee and Stephen Zaharia and jail guard David Tompkins.

The charges stem from an incident on Aug. 18, 2010, when two women placed in a cell after being arrested in separate incidents engaged in what RCMP described at the time as “consensual sexual contact” while seven male employees of the RCMP and the jail watched via closed-circuit television for seven minutes.

The accused are scheduled to appear in court in Kamloops on July 18.

No other charges were approved against the fourth RCMP officers, second jail guard and a jail watch clerk, all unnamed and who were also investigated, said spokesman Neil MacKenzie.

At the time RCMP announced the investigation in the incident, it revealed a criminal investigation was also launched regarding the sexual contact between the two unidentified women, but no other details were revealed.

One of the women, who was so drunk she has no memory of the arrest or detention, had filed a lawsuit against the three levels of government and seven people in B.C. Supreme Court last fall, according to the Kamloops Daily News. The newspaper quoted her as saying she hadn’t consented to the sexual contact and had later learned the other woman was HIV-positive and that she was “horrified and scared.”

Both RCMP spokesman Sgt. Rob Vermeulen and MacKenzie said there are no other charges expected.

Vermeulen said he didn’t know if the RCMP had filed a statement of defence to the woman’s civil lawsuit. Her Victoria lawyer, Erik Magraken didn’t return calls before press time.

Brown, who had 20 years of service and was the supervisor that night, remains suspended with pay, and Elgee and Zaharia have returned to work on administrative duties. All three face an internal code-of-conduct investigation and Canada’s RCMP watchdog, the Commission for Public Complaints against the RCMP, is also investigating.

Tompkins also faced an investigation by his employer, the City of Kamloops.


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