A regional police officer for Niagara Region is facing a number of criminal charges, all of which could see an end to his career in law enforcement. The officer, who has been a police officer in Ontario for eleven years, was arrested on Sept. 28 and charged with sexual assault
, three counts of assault as well as several lesser charges. If convicted, he could face years in prison and lose his job as an officer of the law.
The report does not list the nature of the assaults in any way, only that the alleged offences apparently occurred when the officer was not on duty. He was taken into custody under equally unknown circumstances and was being held in Hamilton prior to his court date. Police say they refuse to give any more details about the case now that it is in the hands of the court system.
However, police did mention that the officer has been suspended with pay pending the outcome of the investigation. This is in accordance with the Police Services Act of Ontario, which aims to provide specialized legal rights to police officers in the event of a misconduct investigation. The officer was expected to appear for a bail hearing on Sept. 30.
Sexual assault accusations are serious for anyone targeted by them, but this is especially true of a police officer. If the officer is found guilty, he will lose his job and be branded with a very unfavourable stigma. This is why the burden of proof rests on Ontario prosecutors to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the man indeed assaulted one or more people. His defense counsel will review the evidence and work with him to build a case to prove his innocence.
Globalnews.ca, "Niagara officer charged with assault, sexual assault - Toronto
", Sept. 30, 2017