An Ottawa police officer convicted of assault and uttering threats against four women was handed three years probation on Thursday and has resigned from the force.
Const. Eric Post, who had pleaded guilty to five charges, was sentenced by Ontario court Judge Robert Wadden, who accepted a joint submission from prosecution and defence.
“There is no place in the (service) or in the policing profession for such people,” Chief Peter Sloly said in a statement. “We are actively taking steps to root them out while remediating the harm they have caused.”
Sloly said he recognized the trauma Post had inflicted on his victims, aggravated by the investigation and court process. He promised better support to improve handling of cases involving sexual violence or harassment.
“We are taking steps as an organization to ensure we are taking a victim-centric, trauma-informed approach to supporting survivors as they go through this difficult process,” the chief said.
The multiple complainants in the case had met Post on dating websites and apps, and four were romantically involved with him, the Ottawa Citizen reported.
Post, who joined the force in 2002, had been on paid suspension since June 2018, when he was charged. He submitted his letter of resignation as part of the agreed sentence in advance on Wednesday.
Sloly was critical of legislation that had kept Post on the payroll pending the outcome of the criminal prosecution, saying police chiefs need the power to suspend without pay in cases of egregious misconduct or criminality.
“We will continue to push for these legislative changes,” Sloly said.
Sloly promised a full internal review of everything associated with the case aimed at precluding any recurrence. Part will include a look at Post’s history with the force.
At one point, Post faced 32 counts, including assault, sexual assault and forcible confinement. The prosecution withdrew most of the charges.
Sloly called those who came forward to complain “courageous,” saying violence against women in any form was unacceptable in any circumstances, “especially when such violence is committed by a person in a position of authority.”
Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press