Discreditable conduct charge against Desjourdy to move ahead
Police sergeant acquitted earlier this week of criminal sexual assault charge
Ottawa police will proceed with a charge of discreditable conduct against Sgt. Steven Desjourdy after he was acquitted earlier this week of sexual assault.
The Police Services Act charge against Desjourdy was stayed when the criminal sexual assault charge was brought to trial.
On Wednesday, Desjourdy was acquitted of sexually assaulting a woman in the Elgin Street cell block during a strip search after her arrest in 2008.
In his decision, Ontario Justice Tim Lipson said the Sept. 6, 2008, arrest of the woman on a charge of public intoxication was not warranted because she was not a threat to herself or others.
Lipson also said the Crown failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Desjourdy's conduct during the strip search was unreasonable and committed in a sexual context. He said he was satisfied Desjourdy conducted the strip search with the valid purpose of checking the woman for possible weapons.
The woman can't be named because of a publication ban.
Ottawa police have since reviewed Lipson's decision.
Barring any appeal by the Crown of the criminal charge over the next 30 days, the Police Services Act charge against Desjourdy will proceed.
If there is an appeal, the stay on the PSA charge will continue.
The woman who was strip-searched has also launched a $1.2-million lawsuit against Ottawa police.