11/15/2016 05:20 EST | Updated 11/15/2016 08:45 EST

Denis McHugh, Former Calgary Police Officer, Charged With Kidnapping Woman While On Duty

CALGARY — A former police officer is facing 11 criminal code charges that include kidnapping and obstruction of justice.

"These are serious criminal charges. Full stop,'' Ray Robitaille, deputy chief of the Calgary Police Service, said Tuesday.

"That a member in uniform is accused of these crimes is deeply concerning — 99.99 per cent of our police officers go out every day to earn the public's trust and they work very, very hard to make sure Calgary's a safe place," he said.

"Any time this sort of behaviour surfaces, it's a betrayal to all police officers and the public."

"These are serious criminal charges. Full stop."

Police say a man and a woman came forward in January alleging two cases of harassment.

An investigation revealed that the woman had been stopped in a Calgary parking lot in July 2015 for traffic violations and her vehicle was towed.

The officer drove the woman home, but she alleges she was confined in the back of a locked police vehicle for 3 1/2 hours.

The same police officer allegedly met the woman and her boyfriend six months later in front of their home, told the man to wait in his car and followed the woman into her house without permission.

The investigation also found the officer was using Calgary Police Service databases to obtain information about the complainants.

Robitaille said there was no suggestion the officer knew the woman before the 2015 traffic stop when he wrote her up for not having a valid driver's licence or auto insurance. Nor was there any indication that stalking or sexual assault was involved.

Several charges laid

Denis McHugh, 35, is charged with kidnapping, obstruction of justice, break and enter, breach of the peace, two counts of fraudulently obtaining a computer service and five counts of breach of trust.

McHugh resigned his position as constable earlier this month after eight years on the job.

"There's nothing positive to say about this other than this individual will be answering these charges in a court of law where it's appropriate,'' said Robitaille.

"There's a fairly comprehensive list of charges before you that outline very clearly what the facts in this matter are."

McHugh is scheduled to appear in court Nov. 29.


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