Alberta Mountie testifies he never asked woman suspect to show her breasts

Const. Jason Tress is on trial in Red Deer on charges of sexual assault and breach of trust.

Noting she wasn't wearing a bra, Tress asked: 'Is there anything I can get for you'

Const. Jason Tress, shown here in a photo from February 2016, is charged with two counts of sexual assault and two counts of breach of trust involving three different women. (Zachary Cormier/Red Deer Express)

A Mountie on trial in central Alberta says at no point did he ask a woman in custody to lift her shirt and show him her breasts.

Const. Jason Tress is on trial in Red Deer on charges of sexual assault and breach of trust.

The complainant, Melissa Heinrichs, told court earlier this week that Tress twice asked her to lift her shirt while she was in RCMP custody on July 1, 2016.

She said the first time was while they were inside a police vehicle travelling to the RCMP detachment after Heinrichs had been arrested.

Heinrichs told court that Tress also asked her to lift her shirt while they were in the fingerprint room at the detachment.

  • 'You know what happened': Sex assault trial begins for Red Deer RCMP officer

Tress took the stand in his own defence on Thursday and refuted both allegations, but noted that he did comment that she wasn't wearing a bra.

He testified that there was nothing sexual about what took place inside the vehicle.

"Melissa, you are going to jail ... I noticed you are not wearing a bra," he told court he recalled saying. "Is there anything I can get for you?"

Defence lawyer Robb Beeman then asked if he made any inappropriate sexual remarks.

"No," replied Tress. "The only thing she may have got that opinion from is when I said I noticed she wasn't wearing a bra."

Beeman then questioned Tress about the fingerprint room allegation.

"Did you ask her to expose her breasts," Beeman asked.

"Never," Tress insisted.

"Did that ever happen," he asked.


Crown prosecutor Photini Papadatou questioned Tress about why he took Heinrichs into the detachment's fingerprint room, where there was no video camera, rather than to one of the three interview rooms that did.

Tress said he wanted to protect her privacy from her boyfriend at the time, Keifer Collins, who was also in custody.

Heinrichs and Collins were arrested that day in relation to a firearms complaint.

Tress, who remains on leave from the RCMP, is to face more cross-examination on Friday before the trial moves into closing arguments.