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Police officer docked 60 hours pay after botching investigation

KAWARTHA LAKES-A Kawartha Lakes police officer who plead guilty to neglect of duty in an alleged sexual assault on a young girl has been sentenced to work 60 hours without pay.

In a written sentencing released today the Hearing Officer, Deputy Chief Terence Kelly York Regional Police (Retired)said “Police Constable Cathy McLeod’s investigations were wilfully neglectful and fell well below the performance standards expected from a police officer of any level of experience, and especially a senior constable trained as a sexual assault investigator.”

McLeod plead guilty to two counts of Neglect of Duty on June 21, 2017. Kelly went on to say “A police officer’s conduct ought to set an example for the community to follow and thus any shortcomings in their conduct will colour the image of the Police Service in the eyes of the public.”

McLeod was found to have failed to properly investigate the allegation of a sexual assault on a five year old girl. The girls mother filed a complaint with the Office of the Independent Police Review Director and an investigation was launched. We are not naming the mother to protect her daughters identity. We will refer to her as the complainant. In a victim impact statement read at the hearing on June 21st 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. Read more here:https://www.kawartha411.ca/2017/06/21/police-officer-leads-guilty-to-failing-to-properly-investigate-a-sexual-assault-on-a-minor/

In sentencing today Kelly stated “The police officer is the person most responsible for initially setting the wheels of the administration of justice in motion and therefore the public cannot be expected to respect the law if it does not respect and believe in the dedication and integrity of the Police Service”

In her victim impact statement the little girls mother said “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”

It’s unclear when Constable McLeod will begin serving her 60 hours. “It is unfortunate that when faced with this situation Police Constable McLeod would not utilize her training as a sexual assault investigator to guide her investigation and responsibility.” Kelly commented.

 

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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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