A report has been submitted to the Vancouver police board about a man and a woman who accused him of rape.
The report recalls that police found that there was “insufficient evidence” against the man.
Saying he was falsely accused, the man wanted the police to charge the woman with public mischief.
The police refused.
According to the police, the woman did not mislead investigators about the alleged sexual assault.
“Upon investigation, no malice or intent to mislead police had been shown, other than the complainant’s belief that his accuser made a false statement,” stated the report written by Inspector Dawn Richards of the Special Investigation Section.
Moreover, “No information outlined in the collected documentation and material suggested that his accuser had any motive or intention to make a false statement or mislead the police.
The man was not happy with the police. He filed a complaint.
Based on a referral by the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner (OPCC) to the Vancouver Police Department, the man was concerned that the VPD “did not have a policy in place that would automatically charge someone who abuses the legal system with the intent to wrongfully convict someone”.
The man believed that charging the woman with public mischief would serve as a deterrent.
As he asked in the complaint form he filled up, “If the police do not charge…with at least public mischief are they not inviting others to do the exact same?”
It’s not that simple, according to Inspector Richards’ report to the Vancouver police board.
“With regard to the complainant’s assertion that there should be an automatic charge of public mischief in similar circumstances, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the fundamental principles of Canadian law create the basis that everyone is innocent until proven guilty,” Richards noted.
“To have policy dictate otherwise would be a contravention of these legal foundations,” the police officer continued. “Of course, as with any criminal offense, the VPD would consider recommending charges if the essential elements of the offense are met and there is sufficient evidence.”
Richards also wrote that there “cannot be a blanket policy that dictates the recommending of charges for an offence”.
According to the police inspector, that would “not be appropriate or legally viable”.
Richards recommended that the board dismiss the man’s complaint about the absence of a policy for automatic charges. The board meets Thursday (June 13).
“In this case,” Richards wrote, “there are not sufficient grounds to support a charge against the complainant as part of the sexual assault investigation, nor are there grounds to support a charge of public mischief against his accuser.”