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Ottawa police officer acquitted on disciplinary charges

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An Ottawa Police Service constable remains suspended even after a disciplinary hearing officer acquitted him this week on charges of discreditable conduct and insubordination.

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The continued suspension of Const. Kevin Benloss was “in relation to an unrelated matter,” a police spokesperson said Thursday, and a representative of the court services division of the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General confirmed that another court date was scheduled for Nov. 22 on charges of sexual assault, assault, voyeurism and criminal harassment laid against Benloss this spring in connection with a different alleged incident.

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The disciplinary hearing on the charges laid under the Police Services Act covered 18 total days between February and November. This newspaper reported in November 2020 the allegations were that Benloss raped a rookie colleague in March 2011.

The discreditable conduct charge alleged he acted in a manner likely to bring discredit on or harm the reputation of the service when he “engaged in communication and/or physical and/or sexual contact towards a sworn member … that you ought to have known was unwelcome, unwanted, offensive, intimidating, hostile or inappropriate.”

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The insubordination charge alleged Benloss breached the force’s respectful workplace policy governing how employees must treat each other.

In a 114-page decision delivered Tuesday and posted Thursday on the Ottawa Police Service website, hearing officer Greg Walton found Benloss not guilty.

“To find Constable Benloss guilty of the alleged misconduct, the evidence must be so clear, so reliable, and so convincing, as to persuade me the alleges are true and the facts in issue satisfied,” wrote Walton, a retired Ontario Provincial Police superintendent who identified the alleged victim only as K.M. “The evidence has failed to convince me that the allegations must be true. The evidence falls short of demonstrating that Constable Benloss touched K.M. for a sexual purpose without her consent. I’m not satisfied that Constable Benloss breached internal police policy.”

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