An investigation by the Office of the Police Complaints Commissioner into the conduct of two Lower Mainland police officers while off-duty in Cuba is moving to a disciplinary proceeding.
Vancouver Police Constable Mark Simms and Port Moody Constable Jordan Long were on vacation in Vardero in Cuba in March 2018 when they allegedly sexually assaulted a 17-year-old girl from Ontario.
They were arrested and went to trial on the assault charge in Cuba, but were acquitted by the judges. They came back to Canada in January 2019, when the RCMP announced it will conduct an enquiry into their alleged misconduct in Cuba.
The Police Act provides that, whether on or off-duty, a police officer commits misconduct if they conduct themselves in manner that the police officer knows, or ought to know, would be likely to bring discredit on the municipal police department.
RCMP conducted an investigation under the oversight of the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner. The investigator Dave Jones found out that there is sufficient evidence to proceed to a disciplinary process, which includes a discipline proceeding.
If misconduct is proven to have occurred, a range of disciplinary or corrective measures, up to and including dismissal, may be imposed. The officers will also have a number of rights at the proceedings to ensure fairness including cross-examination of the investigator, requesting witnesses be called and making submissions.
“Discipline Proceedings are not open to the public. The Commissioner has determined that it is in the public interest to release limited information but in order to protect the integrity of the proceedings no further information will be released at this time,” said Andrea Spindler, Deputy Police Complaint Commissioner.