Toronto officer charged in alleged sex assaults appears before tribunal
Joshua Freeman, CTV Toronto
Published Tuesday, October 18, 2016 12:07PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, October 18, 2016 4:11PM EDT
A Toronto police officer facing sexual assault charges appeared before a police tribunal Tuesday.
The officer arrived at Toronto Police headquarters shortly before 9 a.m. and declined to speak with reporters.
The charges stem from two separate incidents that involved him giving rides to young women while he was on patrol.
The incidents occurred about a month apart in 2015 but the first charge was announced in March 2016 by the province’s Special Investigations Unit.
According to the SIU, the first incident took place in the Entertainment District in September of last year. An officer encountered a 27-year-old woman near Wellington Street West and Blue Jays Way at around 1 a.m. on Sept. 24, 2015.
The woman told investigators that she was sexually assaulted as the officer gave her a ride home in his police vehicle.
In May, the SIU announced another charge against the same officer, this one is alleged to have taken place in the same area on Nov. 1, 2015.
According to investigators, the officer encountered a 25-year-old woman near King Street West and Blue Jays Way early in the morning and offered her a ride home in his police vehicle. The woman wasthen sexually assaulted, the SIU alleges.
Both cases remain before the courts and the charges have not been proven.
However the officer is additionally facing charges of neglect of duty and insubordination under the Police Services Act, charges he appeared to face at the tribunal Tuesday.
Those charges relate to the incident from Sept. 24, 2015. Police documents allege that the officer failed to notify the police operator about what he was doing at the time, failed to turn on the in-car camera when the woman got in the vehicle and didn’t make notes about the incident until after he discovered that she had filed a complaint.
Srgt. Christopher Heard has been charged with two counts of sexual assault.
Toronto police said in May that Heard was suspended with pay after the charges were announced.
The SIU is an arm’s length agency that investigates any incident involving police where there has been death, serious injury, or an allegation of sexual assault.
Read the Notice of Hearing below:
Srgt. Christopher Heard appears on charges at a police tribunal on Oct. 18, 2016.