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Police officer pleads guilty to failing to properly investigate alleged sexual assault on a 5 year old girl

KAWARTHA LAKES-The mother of a five year old girl who was allegedly sexually assaulted in Lindsay had some very harsh words for City of Kawartha Lakes Police Constable Cathy Mcleod today.

Constable Mcleod had just plead guilty to two counts of Neglect of Duty in a Police Act hearing held at the Kawartha Lakes Police Station.  We are not naming the mother to protect her daughters identity. We will refer to her as the complainant.

McLeod plead guilty to failing to properly investigate the allegation of a sexual assault on the little girl. In a victim impact statement read at the hearing the complainant became emotional and said McLeod should be ashamed of herself and is an embarrassment to the good police officers out there. “I have realized I can no longer trust the Kawartha Lakes Police Service” she said.

An agreed statement of facts laid out what happened that day. On July 14th, 2015, the little girl and her brother were outside playing in the driveway when 14 year old boy approached them. The little girl later confided to her brother that the boy had pulled down her pants, licked the little girls genitals and made sounds and gestures of a sexual nature. The complainant found out about what happened and decided to let her daughter get a good nights sleep and see how she felt in the morning. She did not bathe the girl or wash her clothing.

The next day the complainant called police and Mcleod, a trained sexual assault investigator, was sent to the home to investigate.

McLeod did not seize the childs clothing as evidence while at the house and did not properly and thoroughly interview witnesses according to the statement of fact. She did not ask any clarifying questions or get appropriate background information during an interview with the victim. Because of the way the interviews were conducted the Crown could not use them in a criminal trial.

The officer left the home without collecting the child’s clothing and only asked for the clothing after getting back to the police station and being asked about it by another officer. McLeod then called the complainant and asked her to bring the clothing in to the police station without providing any direction as to how to properly preserve the evidence that might be on the clothing. “She should have seized and gathered the evidence properly” explained Prosecutor Glenn Christie.

Semen DNA and saliva were  found on the clothing but there wasn’t enough to determine where it came from so the evidence could not be used.

Constable Mcleod did not immediately provide the complainant and the victim with information about victim services at the home or later at the police station. The complainant asked for the information and Mcleod told her she didn’t have the number. City of Kawartha Lakes Police policy is to immediately provide information on all victim services available in the region.

McLeod is a 17 year veteran of the City of Kawartha Lakes Police Service and has spent 29 years in Policing. She earned more than $115,000 in 2016. She has never had a complaint filed against her before.

The Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD) conducted an investigation into the original complaint and determined Police Act charges were warranted.

The complainant said she first told Kawartha Lakes Police about her concerns with the investigation into what happened to her daughter and she accused them of covering it up. ” They were part of a flawed investigation and cover-up” So she went to the OIPRD. The OIPRD is responsible for receiving, managing and overseeing all public complaints about the police in Ontario.

“She didn’t ask to be assaulted she was just collecting rocks” the complainant told the hearing. “Because of your actions the boy assaulted her and got away with it. I hope you lose sleep over this.  You failed my sweet little girl”

McLeod pleaded guilty to two counts of Neglect of Duty for failing to properly investigate, one count of Neglect of Duty for failing to provide information to the complainant was withdrawn.

In a joint submission both the Crown and the Defense are asking for her to lose 60 hours of pay.

The Hearing Officer Terrance Kelly addresses the complainant saying “I hope as time moves along things get better” He will issue a written sentencing order at a later date.



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Pamela Vanmeer
Pamela Vanmeerhttps://www.kawartha411.ca/
Pamela VanMeer is a two time winner of the prestigious Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) Award. Her investigative reports on abuse in Long Term Care Homes garnered international attention for the issue and won the Ron Laidlaw Award. She is a former reporter and anchor at CHEX News, now Global Peterborough and helped launch the New CHEX Daily, a daily half hour talk show. While at CHCH News in Hamilton she covered some of the biggest news stories of the day.

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