BRITISH COLUMBIA

B.C. Mountie Who Found Jail Sex Entertaining Should Have Intervened: Crown

09/24/2014 05:52 EDT | Updated 11/25/2014 05:59 EST
RCMP
KAMLOOPS, B.C. - A Mountie who watched two drunk female inmates have sex in a jail cell seemed to consider the entire episode entertaining when he should have been intervening, says a Crown lawyer.

"We expect our loved ones who are taken into custody will be treated with dignity and respect," Winston Sayson said. "Their sexuality and bodily integrity must not become the officers' gallows humour."

Sayson was giving his closing arguments in the trial of RCMP Cpl. Rick Brown, who is charged with one count of breach of trust by a public officer.

Brown was watch commander on Aug. 18, 2010 when he and other Mounties and at least one jail guard allegedly viewed the women's sex acts on closed-circuit monitor

The Crown maintains Brown invited several other officers to watch the women with him.

"The actions of the accused in failing to stop them, because he was watching them, is what causes this case to cross into the criminal realm," Sayson told B.C. Supreme Court.

Former Mountie Gary Kerr has testified that in 2010, the RCMP detachment in Kamloops, B.C., was headed by then-Insp. Yves Lacasse, an "extreme bully," and that Brown was too afraid to tell him about the jail-sex incident.

But Sayson said that's irrelevant.

"Despite the media coverage of the case, this is not a case about Lacasse or the working conditions of the RCMP detachment in 2010," Sayson said, describing police officers as "good people" who deal with many difficult situations on behalf of the public.

"The Crown does not seek perfection from our public officers and the Crown does not seek to criminalize indiscretions."

But he said Brown's actions were criminal.

"Cpl. Brown, watching the women have sex in the jail cell, was corrupt," Sayson said. "It was a spectacle of seven men crowded into a small room to watch the monitors. Brown did not intervene . . . because to do so would end the live entertainment."

Throughout Sayson's submissions, he was interrupted often by B.C. Supreme Court Justice Selwyn Romilly, who seemed skeptical of the Crown's case.

Romilly also expressed skepticism before the trial began. At a pre-trial conference last month, he requested a special hearing to determine whether the trial should even proceed. Sayson successfully argued the Crown's prosecutorial discretion allowed for prosecutors to decide which charges are pursued and how.

Defence lawyer Glen Orris accused Sayson of asking Romilly to cherry-pick evidence from Crown witnesses to prove its case.

He pointed to a Supreme Court of Canada decision that states breach of trust by a public officer can only be proved when the Crown can prove there was "a serious and marked departure" from the accused's duty.

Court heard there were no RCMP guidelines in place at the time governing what to do when two prisoners began engaging in sex acts.

"There are no standards, there are no guidelines," Orris said. "The standards, I say, ultimately, are reasonableness."

"In the circumstances, he was required to do what was reasonable — and he did so."

If anything, Orris said, Brown and the other officers were following police protocol because inmates are supposed to be monitored around the clock.

"The Crown has failed to prove any wrongdoing," Orris said. "The evidence does not establish even a wrongful act, let alone a criminal offence."

Brown has been on paid administrative leave since August 2010.

Romilly is expected to give his decision on Oct. 9. (Kamloops This Week)

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