October 3, 2012
Clothing removed to prevent suicide, cop's sex assault trial told
By Megan Gillis, QMI Agency
OTTAWA -- An Ottawa Police sergeant reported he cut off a woman's clothes so she couldn't commit suicide and to search the struggling, yelling woman.
"Once she was physically controlled I got a pair of scissors and cut her T-shirt and bra (at the rear) so she would not hang herself and to clearly search her upper body," Sgt. Steven Desjourdy wrote in a report filed Wednesday at his trial.
But his notes - also filed Wednesday - say only the clothes were cut off "to prevent suicide."
Desjourdy has pleaded not guilty to a charge he sexually assaulted the woman Sept. 6, 2008.
The Crown contends he cut off the woman's clothes to punish and humiliate her for kicking a female colleague, then left her topless for hours.
Desjourdy wrote in his report that he heard a struggle between the woman, arrested for public intoxication, and officers at the cellblock search counter just after he arrived at 6:15 a.m.
He looked up to see her kick Special Const. Melanie Morris two to three times - although he doesn't report seeing knee strikes Morris delivered to the struggling woman first.
With Morris in pain, Desjourdy wrote he told staff to ground the woman then used a shield to cover her legs as she was struggling and yelling.
The sidelined Morris stood by to do the "visual search."
Just before the woman was put in a cell, still struggling and yelling, Morris removed the woman's cut clothing but she stayed in her urine-soaked pants, Desjourdy wrote.
At 9:44 a.m. the woman was given a "blue suit" at his request, Desjourdy wrote, because she had calmed down and showed signs of wanting to sleep.
"She was sober, polite and didn't recall the assault," when released at 1:11 p.m., Desjourdy wrote.
The officer who'd arrested the woman on Rideau St. testified Wednesday that she was stumbling and belligerent after being spotted drinking a beer on the street at 5:30 a.m.
They warned her and told her to go home but she started yelling and swearing at them.
"She kept repeating if we stopped her for solicitation - which was not the case," Const. John Flores said.
He and his partner decided alcohol was making the woman a danger to herself and arrested her.
An internal police database showed it wasn't the first time; she'd been collared for public intoxication in 2005 and taken to the cellblock.
The trial continues Thursday.