Ottawa police officer charged with sexual assault for the second time

WARNING: This article contains details of abuse.

An Ottawa police officer in the midst of a disciplinary hearing for allegedly sexually assaulting a rookie officer in 2011 has been criminally charged with sexually assaulting another woman, CBC News has learned.

The new criminal charges come as Ottawa police misconduct detectives also investigate alleged online harassment of witnesses and the alleged use of an anonymous Twitter account to derail Const. Kevin Benloss Disciplinary Hearing: Allegations that police believe Benloss himself is a party to.

The force on Friday announced the criminal charges against Benloss — sexual assault, battery, voyeurism and criminal harassment — but decided not to name the charged officer “to protect the privacy of the victim,” police said.

The complainant is an ex-girlfriend who reported the allegations to police earlier this year.

Police allege that Benloss sexually assaulted the ex-girlfriend in 2014, assaulted her in February of this year, filmed her without her consent and criminally harassed her over a period of about eight years.

CBC News also learned that Ottawa police executed multiple search warrants last week, claiming they hoped to find evidence of other criminal offenses.

All of those allegations are, sources say, related to the operation of a now-deleted anonymous Twitter account during Benloss’ disciplinary hearing.

The account itself was created in February 2021, but was tweeting in support of Benloss during his disciplinary hearing.

Search warrants for their electronic devices were executed against Benloss and two former Ottawa police officers last week, according to sources with knowledge of the investigation.

CBC News does not name the other former police officers because they have not been charged with any related crimes.

Disciplinary hearing in progress

Benloss began a virtual disciplinary hearing earlier this year for misconduct charges that were filed after the first sexual assault allegation was filed against him. Those charges were filed in November 2020. The force is seeking her removal.

The service has alleged that Benloss acted in a manner likely to discredit or damage the service’s reputation when on March 13, 2011, he “engaged in communication and/or physical and/or sexual contact with a sworn member…that you should have known to be unwelcome, unwanted, offensive, intimidating, hostile or inappropriate.

He was also charged with one count of insubordination for allegedly violating the force’s workplace respect policy, which governs how employees should treat each other.

The disciplinary court heard police and civilian witnesses in the misconduct case, including the complainant.

The hearing has been marked by tense exchanges between police prosecutors and Benloss’ defense attorney in the case, outbursts by the complainant and distractions introduced by observers who support Benloss or the complainant.

In a human rights complaint she originally filed against the entire police service, and again in her testimony, this woman alleged that Benloss sexually assaulted her at her home when she was a rookie after a night of drinking with other police officers.

Benloss’s defense attorney, Peter Thorning, argued instead that the sexual encounter was consensual and that the complainant created a sexual assault narrative after the fact.

“I need to take a break because right now I’m going to kill this damn guy,” she yelled minutes into her cross-examination, before storming out of the room where she was being interrogated. her employment history.

The woman, who was diagnosed with PTSD and is still out of work, told the hearing when she returned: “I don’t have as much experience as a police officer as you may think. I get angry when I talk about my career.”

Benloss has been suspended with pay since September 2020. He has been released on a promise to appear in criminal court on the new charges against him.

His police disciplinary hearing is scheduled to resume on Friday.

Support is available to anyone who has been sexually assaulted. You can access local crisis lines and support services through this Government of Canada website or the Canadian Partnership to End Violence Database. ​​If you are in immediate danger or fear for your safety or the safety of those around you, call 911.

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