Cop accused of not video recording victim's statement in 2016 arrest of Bruce McArthur
Published Tuesday, February 5, 2019 10:36AM EST Last Updated Thursday, February 7, 2019 9:35AM EST
The disciplinary charges a Toronto police officer will be facing in connection with a 2016 arrest of serial killer Bruce McArthur stem from neglecting to video record the victim’s statement and failing to take photographs of the injury within 72 hours of the event, CP24 has learned.
In a statement sent to CP24 on Tuesday evening, Sgt. Paul Gauthier’s lawyer said his client “denies that he did anything wrong.”
“It is alleged that Gauthier failed to comply with the Toronto Police Service’s internal domestic violence policy,” Lawrence Gridin said. “The charges specify that although he obtained a statement from the victim, Gauthier failed to video record it. Secondly, although the victim’s injury was documented, Gauthier failed to have photos taken 72 hours after the event as required by the policy.”
Gridin noted that investigators “relied on the work from Gauthier’s 2016 investigation to help them identify McArthur as a serial killer.”
Gauthier was scheduled to make his first appearance on insubordination and neglect of duty charges on Tuesday, but was not present at the hearing before the police tribunal. Details of the allegations were not released at the hearing and charges were not formally laid.
Meanwhile, at the hearing, Gridin argued to have the case heard by a judge rather than a police superintendent assigned by Chief Mark Sunders. Gridin said that Saunders was the one who publicly downplayed rumours of a serial killer operating in the city’s gay village.
Gridin’s arguments were cut short at the hearing by counsel for the prosecution and the presiding superintendent, who determined it was too early in the process to go into the context of the allegations.
“I’m confident that the evidence will show in this case that the work done by Gauthier contributed to the identification of Bruce McArthur as a serial killer, did not detract from Project Prism,” Gridin said outside of the hearing. Project Prism was the name given to the investigation of several missing men in the city’s gay village.
McArthur pleaded guilty to eight counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Andrew Kinsman, Selim Esen, Majeed Kayhan, Soroush Mahmudi, Dean Lisowick, Skandaraj Navaratnam, Abdulbasir Faizi and Kirushna Kumar Kanagaratnam. The men were murdered by McArthur between 2010 and 2017.
McArthur was arrested and interviewed by officers a few years ago, relating to a separate incident. He was ultimately not charged.
In March 2018, two months after the 67-year-old self-employed landscaper was first charged with murder, an internal investigation was launched by the Toronto police’s professional standards unit into the 2016 arrest.
The review was sparked by the detective leading the investigation, then-Det. Sgt. Hank Idsinga, saying he came across some “concerning” information while he was reviewing two previous investigations into five missing men from the city’s gay village.
A sentencing decision in McArthur’s murder case is expected to be made on Friday morning.
Gauthier’s case has been adjourned to Feb. 26.
With files from The Canadian Press