The Winnipeg Police Association is pleased a former police officer is getting jail time for sexual assault.

A judge on Thursday sentence ex-officer Richard Dow to 16 months behind bars for 11 counts of sexual assault against young women between the ages of 17 and 23 years old.

The incidents took place between 2000 and 2005, while Dow was running RiCoCo International modeling agency as a side business.

Police union president Mike Sutherland says Dow deserves jail time for the crimes. He also called Dow's actions a betrayal of the badge and the uniform.

"If you're going to conduct yourself in a manner that you're going to callously victimize others, and not a single victim, but multiple victims, candidly, I wouldn't be dismayed if the sentence had been longer and I'm sure most of my members feel the same way," Sutherland said.

During Dow's trial in May, court heard that he told the mother of one young woman that he could be trusted because he was a police officer.

Dow pleaded guilty in May to the sexual assault charges as well as one count of simple assault. Thirteen other charges against him were stayed.

Police officers should be held to a higher standard in society, Sutherland said.

"When someone abuses that trust it essentially is a profound disappointment and well, some would suggest almost a betrayal of the uniform and of the badge."

Sentence breakdown anger

People behind Winnipeg's SlutWalk protest are also pleased that Dow, whose lawyer was seeking a conditional sentence, has received jail time.

However, they are upset with how the judge arrived at the sentence.

Justice Chris Martin calculated Dow's time as follows:

  • 15 days in prison for the assault
  • 30 days for each count of touching a breast
  • 45 days for each count of touching inner thigh, buttocks and breast
  • 60 days for each count of touching genitals

Martin doubled the number of days if the victim was under 18.

Allotting more days for the touching of some areas and less for others is insulting, according to Deanna England, one of the organizers of SlutWalk.

"[It is] effectively dehumanizing the woman and implying that she's only the sum of her parts, and she's not a whole person who was damaged by the entire experience," England said.

Winnipeg's SlutWalk takes place Saturday at noon.

The national march started last year in response to comments made by a Toronto police officer who said woman who don't want to be raped "should stop dressing like sluts."