No charges against Quebec provincial police in Val-d'Or abuse scandal
The Crown reviewed 37 files following probe into allegations of abuse by officers
Crown prosecutors will not charge six Quebec provincial police officers following an investigation into the alleged abuse of Indigenous women in Val-d'Or, Que., sources have told CBC's French-language service Radio-Canada.
Prosecutors have been in the city 600 kilometres northwest of Montreal since Monday, meeting with the women who made complaints about police conduct.
"They deserve that we take the time to meet with them to explain what led to our decision," Crown spokesperson Jean-Pascal Boucher told CBC News.
Boucher wouldn't confirm reports about the Crown's decision. The Crown has scheduled a news conference Friday to make its findings public.
The complaints involved six officers, who have been on paid suspension since the investigation began in October 2015, after a report by Radio-Canada's investigative program Enquête uncovered several allegations of abuse toward Indigenous women in Val-d'Or.
Montreal police, who were asked to investigate by the provincial government, said on Monday they had turned over 37 files to prosecutors for review.
Three veteran prosecutors from outside the Val-d'Or region analyzed the files, Boucher said.
According to Radio-Canada sources, the suspended police officers met with their superiors Tuesday afternoon and received a letter from Montreal police that said they would not be facing charges.
The Crown's investigation only pertains to complaints in Val-d'Or filed before April 4, 2016. Any complaint filed after that date is still under investigation as part of a province-wide probe.
Radio-Canada report detailed allegations of abuse
One woman told Enquête that provincial police officers would ask her to perform oral sex in exchange for alcohol, drugs or money.
Another woman described how officers would pick her up in their vehicle and drive her out of town, only to abandon her at the side of the road, kilometres away from residential areas.
Forty-one provincial police officers are suing Radio-Canada for airing the report.
They are asking for $2.3 million in damages. The officers claim the report was "biased, misleading" and its content was "inaccurate, incomplete and untrue."
They added the Radio-Canada report created a hostile working environment for officers in Val-d'Or.
with files from Radio-Canada and Catou MacKinnon