Nfld. & Labrador

Sex assault case against RNC officer will hinge on consent, Crown says

Royal Newfoundland Constabulary officer Const. Carl Douglas Snelgrove cried before jury selection began for his sexual assault trial at Supreme Court in St. John's Monday.

Tears as 10-year police veteran goes on trial Monday

RNC Const. Carl Douglas Snelgrove cried at the start of his sexual assault trial in St. John's Monday. (Glenn Payette/CBC)

Royal Newfoundland Constabulary officer Carl Douglas Snelgrove teared up when cameras were put on him in Supreme Court in St. John's on Monday.

There is a lot at stake for Snelgrove. He is charged with sexual assault, and if found guilty, he could see his career an an RNC officer come to an end, and possibly go to prison.

As the trial got underway Monday, Crown prosecutor Lloyd Strickland told the jury it is the Crown's theory that Snelgrove was on duty when he met a young woman in a St. John's bar, that he went home with her, had sex with her, but that she was too drunk to consent.

Strickland said the defence has conceded that a GPS tracking device in the police cruiser Snelgrove was using puts him at the woman's house on December 21, 2014, and that Snelgrove's DNA was found on the love seat where the woman says they had sex.

Crown prosecutor Lloyd Strickland says defence has conceded Snelgrove's police cruiser and DNA were at the woman's house. (Glenn Payette/CBC)

The complainant, 22, did not know Snelgrove's name, Strickland said, and the RNC began an investigation after the woman told another police officer what had happened.

The Ontario Provincial Police were called in by the RNC after a complaint was filed in the spring of 2015.

Snelgrove, 39, a 10-year veteran of the RNC was charged in July 2015, and suspended without pay.

A six-man, six-woman jury is hearing evidence in a trial that is slated to run for the rest of the week.

About the Author

Glenn Payette

Videojournalist

A veteran journalist with more than 30 years' experience, Glenn Payette is a videojournalist with CBC News in St. John's.