Edmonton to lead investigation in Watson Lake

Watson Lake is swarming with police these days. The RCMP have asked for more Edmonton police officers to come north and investigate the case of a woman who was sexually assaulted in Watson Lake two weeks ago.

Watson Lake is swarming with police these days.

The RCMP have asked for more Edmonton police officers to come north and investigate the case of a woman who was sexually assaulted in Watson Lake two weeks ago.

Following an investigation, two off-duty RCMP officers have been charged with the crime.

A team of Edmonton Police Service officers will now be in charge of the investigation, rather than simply overseeing the RCMP’s major crimes unit.

“What it would involve is a review of the investigation that took place originally,” said Karen Carlson, a spokesperson for the Edmonton police. “And then if there’s any further investigation that needs to be done, then our officers would be in charge of doing that investigation.”

The RCMP had originally requested only one officer to review the RCMP’s work.

“But even before our officers began any type of investigation at all, the RCMP then requested that we just take it over as the primary investigators, period,” said Carlson.

She wouldn’t say how many police officers are now in Watson Lake.

Shawn McLaughlin and Graham Belak were charged on March 9 with sexually assaulting a woman on March 8.

Both have been suspended with pay and will appear in a Watson Lake court on April 6. (James Munson)