A Kelowna RCMP officer is under investigation for allegedly sending sexually explicit text messages to a victim in a case he was investigating.
The RCMP confirmed the officer has been suspended while they investigate the allegations, however it did not provide any further details or the name of the police officer.
“As the investigation proceeds the member is currently suspended with pay and his duty status is subject to continual assessment,” said Staff Sgt. Janelle Shoihet in an email. “I can also add that the RCMP has asked that the matter be assessed by an outside police department, who would then review and conduct a criminal investigation.”
The constable involved is reported to have been part of the investigation into an aggravated assault in Lake Country last year.
On April 22, 2018, RCMP in Lake Country responded to a home in the 13000-block of McCreight Road to check on the well-being of the residents.
When they arrived, RCMP were met outside the home by a severely beaten woman and a delirious and incoherent male.
Lonnie Noel Smith, 39, of Lake Country was arrested and charged with numerous offences including aggravated assault, unlawful confinement and uttering threats.
On Nov. 25 Smith pleaded guilty to two of eight charges including aggravated assault and unlawful confinement. He also faces two counts of uttering threats, sexual assault, administering noxious thing with intent to endanger, possession of an unauthorized non-firearm and uttering threats to burn destroy or damage.
The RCMP said it takes the allegations against its officer seriously, however due to a publication ban it would refrain from providing anymore details.
“We are mindful that victims related to the criminal investigation are subject to publication bans. This criminal matter is still before the courts and therefore we all need to ensure that we allow the judicial process to continue. We understand the matter will be continuing in the new year,” said Shoihet.
She said the allegations would also be subject to an internal code of conduct investigation overseen by the RCMP.
“The RCMP acted immediately once we became aware of the information and we are confident that the comprehensive internal and external investigations currently underway will guide our actions moving forward,” said Shoihet.
Regional editor,Okanagan Bureau
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