Nova Scotia

Sackville RCMP officer's assault case put over

The case of a Lower Sackville RCMP officer charged with three counts of assault involving his domestic partner has been held over until April.

Const. Zeran Hutson Simmonds expected to enter plea in April

The case of a Lower Sackville RCMP officer charged with three counts of assault involving his domestic partner has been held over until April.

Const. Zeran Hutson Simmonds, 30, is expected to enter a plea during his next scheduled court date on April 29.

Simmonds was not in Dartmouth provincial court for his arraignment on Wednesday and a lawyer appeared on his behalf.

The 30-year-old officer, who has been a member of the RCMP for five years, was charged after an investigation by Nova Scotia's Serious Incident Response Team.

The team became involved after a woman called 911 in early January and alleged her common-law spouse assaulted her at a home in Beaver Bank. The assaults are alleged to have happened between Dec. 30, 2012 and Jan. 5, 2013.

Ron MacDonald, the director of the Serious Incident Response Team, was at Dartmouth provincial court on Wednesday and said domestic assault cases such as the one involving Simmonds are among the most common the agency handles.

"We've had six situation where we've laid charges. All have been domestic violence or domestic-related violence cases so it's typical to the type of cases where we've laid charges," he told CBC News.

"We've also had many cases where we haven't laid charges so every case is different."

The Serious Incident Response Team is responsible for investigating all serious incidents involving police in Nova Scotia, whether or not there is an allegation of wrongdoing.

It is required to file a public report within three months after concluding its investigation.

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