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Former RCMP officer acquitted of sexual assault

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RCMP - SaltWire File Photo

A judge has acquitted a former RCMP officer of sexual assault, saying that while some of the accused’s evidence was concerning, the complainant’s testimony was at various times implausible and unreliable.

Windsor provincial court judge Ronda van der Hoek handed down her decision Monday in the trial of 60-year-old Charles Kwatei Quartey.

A Kings County woman testified last year that Quartey kissed her and touched her in two separate incidents in 1995. He was charged in 2016, the year after police received information through a third party while investigating an unrelated incident.

“Ultimately, her testimony presented problems,” van der Hoek said.

The complainant testified at trial last year that she had gone to the Bridgetown RCMP office to give a statement in an assault case — for which she was charged — after which, Quartey kissed her in an interview room.

Quartey — who, after the statement, gave her a promise to appear in court for a later date — denied doing so, and also testified that other details of the woman’s account were untrue.

“(The complainant’s) testimony about attending at the RCMP detachment raised reliability concerns for two reasons,” van der Hoek said.

She said the woman’s description of how she entered the detachment “did not afford with common sense.”

The woman had testified that she entered the building through a side door and that there was no one else there. Quartey and two Crown witnesses testified that the side door is a secure one for police only, and that the public must enter through the front door. They also testified that there were civilian staff who would have been in the building and visible.

Her description of the interview room, with blinds and two way glass, was also not accurate.

“I’m left to doubt her reliability as to what happened there,” van der Hoek said.

The judge said that “it seems implausible that he would charge her if he was seeking access to her for the purpose of assaulting her ... While she firmly believes these events occurred, I cannot accept her evidence.”

The woman testified that at a later date, Quartey arrived at her home unannounced in plain clothes while driving a marked police car and served her with court papers. She said she was upset and that he pulled her onto his lap, and later pushed her onto her bed and laid on top of her while kissing her.

Quartey denied that. He said that on the day she gave her statement, he mentioned he went to a gym in Greenwood. The woman said she lived in Greenwood, Quartey testified, and there was discussion of him visiting her when he was there.

He said he called her one day after a gym workout and she told him to visit, giving him directions to her home. He said he was in his own car, as members didn’t have the authority to use marked cars while not on duty.

He denied pulling her onto his lap, being in her bedroom, or having any contact. He said he did tell an officer during his second interview in the case that she may have been on his lap, but that he only did so because he had been worn down from hours of questioning.

The judge also rejected testimony from the woman that she complained to the RCMP in 1995 about the alleged sexual assault, and then met two RCMP investigators from headquarters in Ottawa or Halifax, who interviewed her in a mall food court about the alleged assaults.

An investigator in the case that made it to trial testified that she found no paper trail anywhere about an internal review, and no sign of a file being started, note made or receipts for travel submitted.

“I find it is not plausible that Canada’s police force would have no record of an investigation into an (alleged) sexual assault by a member,” van der Hoek said.

She also said she accepted that Quartey would not have arrived at her home in plain clothes from the gym while driving a marked police car, and said that there were other problems with her testimony.

Quartey, who was working in the Northwest Territories after transferring there in 1997, has retired since being charged.

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