News Release

SIU Concludes Investigation in Thunder Bay

Case Number: 06-OSA-196

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TORONTO (5 December, 2006) --- The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), James Cornish, has concluded there are no reasonable grounds to believe that a Thunder Bay Police Service (TBPS) officer committed the offence of sexual assault.

On November 16, 2006, the TBPS notified the SIU of an incident that occurred in which a 17-year-old complainant alleged she was sexually assaulted by a TBPS officer.

Three SIU investigators were sent to Thunder Bay to investigate the complaint. During the course of the probe, investigators interviewed police and civilian witnesses and reviewed police reports, communication tapes and the security videotapes from the bus terminal.

The investigation determined that on November 15th, at about 10:17 p.m., the officer found the complainant in an extremely intoxicated state outside of the Brodie Street Bus Terminal in Thunder Bay. The officer called the complainant's mother who asked for him to bring her daughter home. The officer arrested the complainant for being intoxicated in a public place, handcuffed her, and placed her in the cruiser. He then drove her home, arriving approximately two and a half minutes later. When the complainant's mother tried to help her daughter out of the cruiser, the complainant alleged that the officer had sexually assaulted her.

After a careful review of the evidence from this investigation, Director Cornish concluded the alleged sexual assault did not happen and indeed, could not have happened. He stated, "The evidence, particularly the physical and documentary evidence, indicates the allegation was made on the spur of the moment by an intoxicated young woman who retracted the complaint shortly after it was made."

The SIU has issued a final news release detailing the completed investigation into this sexual assault allegation due to the publicized nature of the complaint and the significant amount of media coverage on this particular incident.

The SIU is an independent government agency that investigates the conduct of officials (police officers as well as special constables with the Niagara Parks Commission and peace officers with the Legislative Protective Service) that may have resulted in death, serious injury, sexual assault and/or the discharge of a firearm at a person. All investigations are conducted by SIU investigators who are civilians. Under the Special Investigations Unit Act, the Director of the SIU must

  • consider whether the official has committed a criminal offence in connection with the incident under investigation
  • depending on the evidence, cause a criminal charge to be laid against the official where grounds exist for doing so, or close the file without any charges being laid
  • publicly report the results of its investigations
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES
Telephone/No de téléphone: 416-622-2342 or/ou 1-800-787-8529 extension 2342