Former high-profile RCMP officer Tim Shields charged with sexual assault

Former RCMP Insp. Tim Shields is facing a sexual assault charge stemming from an alleged incident that happened between 2009 and 2010.

At the time of the alleged incident, Shields was a high-profile former spokesman for the RCMP’s Strategic Communications Unit (SCU) at E Division.

The complainant was a civilian employee with the RCMP and worked with the SCU at the time of the alleged offence.

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The RCMP said in a statement that they became aware of the allegations in 2013 after a civil claim was filed against the Mounties by another employee and a Code of Conduct investigation was launched. At the time, there was insufficient evidence in the case to proceed with an active investigation.

In 2014, according to RCMP, “significant new information became available.” Following the new information, an investigative team was formed and the results were reported to Crown and ultimately resulted in the charge.

During the same time as the criminal investigation, the RCMP launched their own internal investigation and in June 2015 found enough evidence to suspend Shields with pay.

In December 2015, Shields left the RCMP, which halted the internal conduct investigation.

In a written statement RCMP Deputy Commissioner and Commanding Officer Graig Callens said, “the RCMP pursued this investigation as it would any serious criminal matter, regardless that the suspect was a senior police officer. All internal process were pursued in this file.”

“Charges of this nature against a police officer are disturbing and are even more so that it is alleged to have occurred in our headquarters,” Callens said.

“All members of the RCMP share the public’s concern and have devoted considerable efforts in the past number of years to addressing sexual misconduct in the workplace. To be clear, sexual misconduct in the workplace is not acceptable and we have taken steps in line with other employers to prevent it from occurring. If it occurs it will be vigorously and fairly investigated so that appropriate steps can be taken up to and including criminal charges.”

Shields is scheduled to be in provincial court on June 27.

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