Manitoba

Police officer denies distributing intimate images in 'revenge porn' lawsuit

Two men connected to a "revenge porn" lawsuit have filed court documents denying they are responsible for distributing intimate images of a female police officer in western Manitoba.

Court document alleges officer’s computer was ‘hacked’ by former girlfriend

A Brandon man says his computer was hacked by a former romantic partner, who then allegedly stole and distributed intimate images of another woman. (Shutterstock)

Two men connected to a "revenge porn" lawsuit have filed court documents denying they are responsible for distributing intimate images of a female police officer in western Manitoba.

In a lawsuit filed last November, Brittany Roque, a police officer in Rivers, Man., says she sent intimate images of herself to Ryan Friesen, a Brandon police officer, during a brief romantic relationship in 2015.

The lawsuit alleges another woman who had a relationship with Friesen, Terry Lynn Peters, found the intimate images on Friesen's computer, made copies of them, and then distributed them to Brandon Police Service, where Roque was applying for a job.

Peters denies the allegations and filed a third-party claim alleging the images were distributed by Ryan Friesen and another man, Devon LeBlanc. None of the allegations has been proven in court. 

Friesen has now filed a court document saying "he believed that he had deleted all of the intimate images of the plaintiff, Brittany Roque, but that a few of the intimate images had been unintentionally saved in his personal online email account."

The account was password protected and only Friesen had the password, the document says.

"The intimate images were not saved to a computer, but were only saved as part of an email in the inbox of the account. In fact, Friesen believed that he had deleted all emails from the account, but unbeknownst to him, some were still accessible," it says.

Friesen alleges Peters "hacked into the account using her own personal computer and took the intimate images of Roque." 

At no time did Friesen consent to Peters viewing or copying the images, the document says.

The other man Peters alleges is responsible for any distribution of the intimate images, Devon LeBlanc, has also filed his defence statement in response to the accusations against him by Peters.

LeBlanc denies distributing the intimate images and denies having them in his possession.

"LeBlanc says that Friesen had previously implicated him to Peters as a scapegoat as being the source or distributor of the intimate images, but LeBlanc denies that he is, in fact, the source or distributor of the intimate images."

Statement recanted, document says

LeBlanc says in his document that Friesen recanted the statement that LeBlanc was involved and also "made it known to Peters that LeBlanc had no involvement in these matters."

Despite that, "Peters had nonetheless filed her claim against LeBlanc with neither a factual nor good faith foundation for her claims," LeBlanc alleges.

Court documents describe LeBlanc and his spouse as close personal friends of Roque.

LeBlanc's lawyer, Derek Cullen, told CBC News, "We have been waiting for Mr. Friesen to file his defence, which we believe confirms that Mr. LeBlanc is wrongfully named."

"We will be filing for dismissal of the claim against Mr. LeBlanc," Cullen added.

Peters's lawyer declined to comment when contacted by CBC.

Roque agreed to talk to CBC about the case last April to help other people who may have a similar experience.

Her lawsuit, which refers to the situation as a case of "revenge porn," seeks damages from the defendant, Peters, and asks the court to order anyone who has copies of the intimate images to destroy them.

The lawsuit cites section 162 of the Criminal Code of Canada, which makes it a criminal offence to knowingly distribute an intimate image of a person without that person's consent.

Manitoba's Intimate Image Protection Act, which took effect in 2016, enables someone to sue for financial compensation in cases of non-consensual distribution of sexual imagery.


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