Former Manitoba Mountie charged with sexual exploitation

A 33-year-old former RCMP officer in Manitoba has been charged with sexual exploiting an underage girl.

Man, 33, turned himself in to Winnipeg police on Tuesday

Police say a 33-year-old RCMP officer resigned and was later charged with sexual exploitation of a girl. (CBC)

A 33-year-old former RCMP officer in Manitoba has been charged with sexual exploiting an underage girl.

According to Winnipeg police, the officer met a girl under the age of 18 while on duty in 2014. He then pursued an intimate relationship with her for about four months.

Winnipeg Police Service (WPS) spokesman Const. Jason Michalyshen said there is no indication the girl was involved in the sex trade but relationship between her and the officer was "clearly unacceptable and inappropriate."

The relationship was brought to the attention of the WPS by the RCMP, which wanted another agency, independent of its own, to look into the matter.

The Independent Investigation Unit of Manitoba, which investigates all serious incidents involving police officers in the province, wasn't established until 2015. So an investigation was conducted instead by the WPS' professional standards unit.

The RCMP officer, who worked at RCMP headquarters in downtown Winnipegeventually resigned in May 2016, with six years on the force.

Following their lengthy investigation, the WPS consulted with Manitoba Justice and then charged the officer with sexual exploitation.

Michalyshen called the charged "very, very serious" and said it is now up to the court process to take its course.

The ex-officer turned himself in on Tuesday and was arrested. He has been released from custody on a promise to appear in court in October.

His name is not being made public by the police in order to protect the identity of the victim.