A police officer prosecuted for having had intimate relations with a complainant

A Longueuil police detective sergeant who allegedly had sexual relations, during his working hours, with the complainant in a sexual assault case in which he was the main investigator is the target of a $150,000 lawsuit and is suspected of having contravened the Code of Ethics of Quebec Police Officers.

Police officer Jean-François Grégoire allegedly went to the woman's home seven times in order to have sexual relations with her, including some times during his shift, we can read in a lawsuit filed Tuesday by the police office. lawyers Arsenault, Dufresne and Wee.

He also allegedly used his professional cell phone to exchange text messages and photos of a sexual nature with the alleged victim and then asked her to delete all traces of their exchanges. The alleged facts took place over a period of almost eight months, from December 2019 to August 2020.

The detective sergeant no longer works for the Longueuil urban police service (SPAL). However, it was not possible to confirm whether the police officer was fired or left office of his own accord. “The reasons for his departure will not be communicated since it concerns personal information which is protected under the Access Act,” indicated Inspector Gino Iannone, spokesperson for the SPAL.

In addition to being targeted by this prosecution, investigator Grégoire is summoned next June before the Police Ethics Commissioner. He is accused of having acted in such a way as to compromise his impartiality in a case in which he was the principal investigator, of having used his work cell phone to have sexual exchanges with the complainant in the case and of having had sexual relations with her. The lawyer who represents police officer Grégoire before the Commissioner did not respond to the request for an interview from Duty at the time these lines were written.

Inadequate relationship

The woman, whose identity is protected by the court, was allegedly first contacted by Detective Sergeant Grégoire in November 2019 in relation to a sexual assault complaint she made in July of the same year.

“He took advantage of his position of authority and the vulnerable situation in which the (complainant) found herself to initiate and obtain favors of a sexual nature from her rather than directing her to the appropriate help resources,” can we read in the court document.

During an in-person meeting at the police station, the investigator allegedly gave his work cell phone number to the complainant, telling her that she could contact him if necessary.

According to the document submitted to the court, the woman contacted the police officer to follow up on the progress of her case and the investigator subsequently began texting her sporadically to check on her. The attention paid to her by the police officer is first perceived as a reassuring sign, “(she) has the feeling of being believed, listened to and understood”.

The relationship took a completely different turn when, in mid-December, the investigator complimented her by text, referring to her breasts. “He confides to her certain sexual fantasies that he has towards her. A conversation by text message ensued during which (they) exchanged messages with sexual connotations,” it is written.

Still by text message, the investigator expressed his desire to see her that same evening and offered to come to her house. Despite some hesitation, the woman reportedly agreed to allow him to come to her house. Agent Grégoire allegedly kissed her upon her arrival and then began a full sexual relationship. The same evening, after leaving the premises, the detective sergeant allegedly begged the woman to erase all traces of their exchanges, in addition to asking her not to disclose the nature of their relationship to anyone. He also allegedly asked her for proof of the deletion of their discussions.

The police officer would not have taken long to do it again, sending her new text messages with sexual connotations and telling her he wanted to see her again. While he is carrying out his duties, Agent Grégoire will make multiple visits to the woman's home to have sexual relations with her.

In January, after having mentioned to her that he wanted to see her breasts by text, agent Grégoire informed the woman by telephone that no charges would be brought against her alleged attacker by the Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions (DPCP), overstepping at the same time his mandate. “(The complainant) is at work and is not prepared to receive this information; she is in shock,” we can read in the document, which mentions that the investigator later apologized.

Around April 2020, the woman would have revealed for the first time to her psychotherapist her relationship with investigator Grégoire. “She gradually realizes the inadequacy of their relationship,” it is mentioned.

In August 2020, the DPCP summoned her to a meeting to explain the reasons justifying the refusal to lay charges following her complaint for sexual assault filed in July 2019. Anxious at the idea of ​​seeing investigator Grégoire again, whom she has not seen for two months, the woman asks that a worker from the Assistance Center for Victims of Crime (CAVAC) accompany her. During his preparation, the CAVAC worker assigned to the case learned that investigator Grégoire had allegedly maintained a sexual relationship with the complainant. The meeting is then canceled.

An investigation would then have been opened by the internal services of the SPAL concerning the behavior of Sergeant Grégoire. “Since the case about which you wish to obtain information will be the subject of a hearing before the Administrative Tribunal of Police Ethics next June, we will not comment further on the situation since this would be likely to harm a legal proceeding in course,” said the Longueuil police spokesperson.

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