No disciplinary hearing for Watson Lake cops

The RCMP haven't scheduled a disciplinary hearing for two officers who went to court over sexual assault charges six and a half months ago.

The RCMP haven’t scheduled a disciplinary hearing for two officers who went to court over sexual assault charges six and a half months ago.

Constables Graham Belak, 30, and Shawn McLaughlin, 33, were acquitted of sexually assaulting a young woman in March, but were served with notices they may have breached the RCMP’s code of conduct.

During the trial, both Watson Lake-based officers admitted to taking an intoxicated woman to Belak’s home and engaging in what they believed to be an consensual threesome. McLaughlin had one child and his wife was pregnant at the time.

The RCMP told the public both men would undergo a hearing with the force’s adjudication board, an internal disciplinary branch, to see if they breached the code of conduct.

Many people in the public expressed distress at the example the officers were making in the small town.

“This matter has not yet been set for a hearing,” wrote Supt. John Reid, who works with the board, in an e-mail Thursday.

Asked for the reasons behind the delay, Reid wrote “There may be many valid reasons which are not usually disclosed.”

After the constables were charged in March 2009, they left the territory on paid leave. Belak went to Saskatchewan and McLaughlin waited for the trial in Manitoba.

There is no information on whether they are currently serving with the force. (James Munson)

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