hi-bc-archive-kamloops-jail-sex-cell

The cell at the Kamloops jail where the Aug. 18 incident occurred.

Cpl. Kenneth Brown, a Mountie charged with breach of trust after it was alleged he invited other officers to watch two drunk female prisoners having sex in a Kamloops jail cell, has been found not guilty.

In delivering his judgment, Justice Selwyn Romilly of the B.C. Supreme Court, said that this was probably his last criminal trial before he retires in a few months after 40 years on the bench.

"I mention this," he said, "because this has turned out to be one of the most bizarre criminal trials in which I have been involved over my lengthy judicial career."

Brown was in charge of the Kamloops, B.C., detachment the night of the 2010 incident and was the only officer to stand trial.

Both women had been arrested for public intoxication. They were later released from custody with no charges.

In his findings, the judge said that one of the women was so drunk, her pants fell off while she was being transferred, and she was left on the floor of the "drunk tank" naked from the waist down, with her pants left on top of her.

By the time the second woman was put into the cell, the first woman had dressed herself. The two then "engaged in consensual sex for approximately seven to 10 minutes," Justice Romilly found.

He also found that the two women knew they were being constantly monitored by he guards, and that "there is no reasonable expectation of privacy in a jail cell."

The Crown argued that Brown had a duty to stop the women, instead of objectifying them. It was alleged he encouraged his colleagues to watch the women via a video feed from their jail cell.

But Justice Romilly disagreed, saying he did not believe Brown had invited others to view the proceedings, rather that he had asked another team member to "enlarge the screen so they could make sure that neither of the two women hurt each other."

He concluded that the Crown had failed to prove Brown's conduct was so far below acceptable standards that it constituted an abuse of the public's trust.

Last year, jail guard David Tompkins received one year of probation after he pleaded guilty to breach of trust in the case. Charges were also laid, but later stayed, against two other officers.

With files from Brady Strachan