RCMP Cpl. Rick Brown is on trial in Kamloops, B.C., charged with one count of breach of trust by a public officer.
He was the watch commander in the early morning hours of Aug. 18, 2010, when two intoxicated women engaged in explicit sex acts in a detachment jail cell.
The trial has heard Brown allegedly watched the sex acts via closed-circuit video with other Mounties, as well as jail guards, and nobody intervened.
The court has heard that as one of the women was being checked into jail she reported that she was HIV positive.
Gary Kerr, a retired staff sergeant who was in charge of the detachment's major-crimes unit, said the office in the summer of 2010 was an extremely toxic workplace under the command of Yves Lacasse, the inspector at the time. Lacasse left the RCMP in 2013.
"I would describe the RCMP detachment at that time as dysfunctional in the extreme," said Kerr. "Simply stated, the officer in charge, Insp. Lacasse, was extremely, extremely difficult to work for. He was an extreme bully."
Kerr said Lacasse created an environment in which officers felt bullied.
He testified that he considered Brown a friend and colleague.
Kerr said the Brown became very emotional when he told him on Aug. 23, 2010 what had happened in the cells five days earlier.
Kerr told the court Brown was sobbing and was too "intimidated" and "scared" to talk to Lacasse about the incident.
"He said he couldn't speak to the inspector and I could feel for what he was saying," said Kerr. "That’s how bad relations were at the time."
Kerr said he was the first investigator to look into the allegations after they were reported.
He said he was under "extreme pressure" from Lacasse to keep from doing anything that could "embarrass the RCMP" — such as issuing a media release.
"I wanted to put out a press release," Kerr said. "I was very adamant something had to get out — and I was basically quashed on that idea in no uncertain terms."
News of the investigation was eventually leaked to the media and the RCMP issued news release about "an incident" in a jail cell.
Only later did the RCMP provide more detail about the investigation.
Earlier in his testimony, Kerr spoke about a sexual incident he witnessed in 1982, while working as a junior Mountie in Powell River, B.C.
"It was two adult males in the cells and one was performing oral sex on the other," he said. "I entered the cells and stopped what they were doing. In my mind, it was the wrong thing for them to be doing. It was just inappropriate.
"It was just common sense, I suppose."
Brown has been on paid administrative leave from the RCMP since August 2010.
The Crown is expected to close its case Friday, and it’s not known if the defence will call any evidence.
(Kamloops This Week)
Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version gave incorrect information on when one of the women reported that she was HIV positive.
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