Det. Const. Mandip Sandhu took the stand in his own defence and insisted that even though he was bigger, tougher and armed with a gun, he was the victim — not the perpetrator — of a sexual assault inside a North York massage parlour.
With a straight face, he told Ontario provincial court Judge John Moore that he was stunned, simply stunned, when one of the attendants he was investigating suddenly knelt at his feet without warning and said, “I do you.”
“She undid my zipper to my pants and she performed oral sex on me,” testified Sandhu, 37. “I was shocked. I wasn’t expecting anything like that to happen but I did nothing to stop her. It was a lapse in judgment.”
Earlier in the week, a 44-year-old masseuse told court through a Mandarin interpreter that Sandhu had come into the North York “holistic spa” where she worked early on June 3, 2010. He identified himself as a police officer and jotted down her name and address from her licence. She said he then told her he had a “big one” and demanded she “get down and open her mouth.”
Crying, she said, she complied. Her boss called police a short time later and Sandhu was eventually charged by the SIU with sexual assault.
But he told a far, more incredulous story.
New to the major crimes unit at 31 Division, Sandhu insisted the plainclothes officer he was replacing told him he could go into massage parlours posing as a customer even though he wasn’t trained or authorized to work undercover. And although both his partner and supervisor testified that those kind of inspections are usually done in pairs and at night, the 10-year veteran said he decided to go that morning to check out some spas on his own.
Shortly before 11 a.m., he parked his unmarked car in the empty lot and went into one establishment posing as a customer to see if they’d offer any sexual services.
“It seems a little early for that kind of bylaw inspection, doesn’t it?” asked Crown attorney Peter Scrutton.
Perhaps not catching the sarcasm, Sandhu disagreed.
The female worker offered to perform oral sex for $100, he said. When she learned he was a cop and feared she was going to be charged, she suddenly smiled and forced herself upon him.
“Just like that?” asked the prosecutor. “And you didn’t say, ‘Cut that out’?
“No, I didn’t,” the officer admitted. “I just wasn’t thinking. I was shocked and surprised. I had a lapse of judgment.”
Without mercy, the Crown attorney pressed on with his barely concealed mockery.
“Technically, that’s assault, don’t you agree?” he asked. “She’s sexually assaulting you now, right?”
“Yes, by definition,” Sandhu sheepishly agreed.
“Pretty serious stuff,” Scrutton said.
So he questioned why there isn’t one notation in his police notebook about the alleged assault, or the soliciting offer of a $100 sex act or her supposed attempt to obstruct justice by offering oral sex as a bribe.
All Sandhu wrote down from his “inspection” that day is the woman’s identifying information. After he went back to the station, “too ashamed” to tell anyone what happened, he said he crossed her name out in his memo book. “I don’t know what I was thinking at that point.”
He was asked why he didn’t lay any charges. “I made a bad judgment,” Sandhu said.
Circling his weakened prey, the prosecutor admitted he was puzzled by his tale. “She didn’t overpower you?” he asked.
“No,” Sandhu sighed.
“And you’re armed?”
“Yes,” he conceded.
“You have a suspect literally on her knees ... very close to your firearm. That doesn’t sound very good in terms of officer safety,” the Crown noted.
Then moving in for the kill, Scrutton finally told Sandhu his story just didn’t make sense.
“You went there that day to get (oral sex). That’s why you went alone when your office doesn’t do these kind of investigations alone,” he charged. “You wanted to get your rocks off.”
“I disagree,” the officer said, his voice barely audible.
Closing arguments are scheduled for Nov. 30.