Woman 'did not consent,' Crown tells sex assault trial for retired B.C. Mountie
Former RCMP spokesman Tim Shields pleaded not guilty on charge of assault against civilian employee
A retired RCMP inspector had a mistaken belief that a civilian employee consented to sexual activity in a washroom at the force's British Columbia headquarters, the Crown says.
Crown attorney Michelle Booker said Wednesday that Tim Shields did not take any steps to see if the woman provided consent for him to allegedly kiss and grope her in 2009.
Shields, 52, was charged with one count of sexual assault in May 2016 and has pleaded not guilty.
Provincial court has heard that the woman, who cannot be identified under a publication ban, filed a civil lawsuit against the RCMP and Shields in 2014 that was settled in December 2016.
The complainant provided a statement to police in 2015 as part of a code of conduct investigation but Booker said the court must not use the delay to gauge her credibility because that would be relying on myths and stereotypes about when complainants should disclose their experience.
She asked Judge Patrick Doherty to be guided by "common sense and a painstaking, careful, repeated testing of the evidence to see how it stacks up."
"In the Crown's submission, the evidence of Mr. Shields does not stack up," Booker said during closing arguments. "The Crown has proven that Mr. Shields has sexually abused (the complainant) beyond a reasonable doubt."
Defendant's story not believable, Crown says
Court has heard both Shields and the woman exchanged flirty emails before the alleged assault, which occurred in either April 2009 according to Shields, or in September that year based on the woman's testimony.
Booker said that while defence lawyer David Butcher questioned the woman's credibility, Shields's evidence related to the alleged assault in a ground-floor unisex washroom eight years ago contained far too much detail to be believable.
The woman has testified Shields told her he had something important to tell her and that she followed him into the washroom she'd never seen, before he locked the door.
She said she was "frozen and confused" when he touched her breasts, unbuttoned her pants and put her hand on his genitals.
However, Shields has testified the woman "actively and enthusiastically" participated in sexual acts with him and made no attempt to escape from the washroom.
"This is his evidence about what transpired in the bathroom," Booker said. "It is extraordinarily detailed. It is a mechanical rendition of what went on and I say it is unreasonable and not believable."
Shields has testified the complainant often walked into his office and hugged him, starting with friendly embraces that became more sexual, along with the conversation.
Booker said Shields portrayed the complainant as the initiator, instigator and aggressor while painting himself as the victim of her advances who simply reacted to the woman's actions.
"He's reconstructed and rehearsed what took place," Booker said. "Her unshaken evidence is that she did not consent."
Butcher told the court on Tuesday that there is no basis for the Crown's argument that Shields abused his position of authority to coerce the woman into the washroom.
"Mr. Shields says she's a fraud, a liar and a perjurer," he said in closing submissions. "Mr. Shields asks the court to positively find there was actual consent in this case."
Shields joined the RCMP in 1996 and was promoted to inspector in 2009. He was the Mounties' media spokesman in B.C., and was suspended with pay in May 2015 in the middle of the code of conduct investigation. He left the force in December of that year.
The lawyers will be back in court on Friday to set a date to hear the decision from the judge.
- An earlier version of this story written by the Canadian Press said Tim Shields testified the woman "actively and enthusiastically had sex with him." In fact, Shields testified the woman "actively and enthusiastically participated in sex acts with him."Nov 30, 2017 6:15 PM PT