Judge Richard Scheider gave Const. Stephen Hans Knaack a conditional discharge with one year’s probation. (Alistair Maitland/Yukon News file)

Former Whitehorse RCMP officer gets conditional discharge for sexual assault

Judge Richard Scheider sided with the defence’s argument that conditional discharge was appropriate

A former Whitehorse RCMP officer who pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a colleague while on the job has been granted a conditional discharge.

In a sentencing made public Feb. 14, Judge Richard Scheider gave Const. Stephen Hans Knaack a conditional discharge with one year’s probation.

According to an agreed statement of facts, Knaack, at the time a corporal, grabbed the buttocks of a female civilian colleague in January 2017 while giving her a hug.

During sentencing arguments, the Crown had asked for a suspended sentence, arguing that, considering the impact the sexual assault had on the victim and Knaack’s status as a police officer, not giving him a criminal record would be against the public interest.

Knaack’s defence lawyer, Brendan Miller, disagreed, arguing that Knaack had already lost a rank, suffered financial loss and has shown remorse for his actions. He also argued that the case had been heavily publicized, and that Knaack and his family have since had to relocate from Whitehorse.

In his sentencing, Scheider agreed with Miller that a conditional discharge was the most appropriate punishment.

The conditions of Knaack’s probation include keeping the peace, appearing in court when required, regularly reporting to his probation officer and participating in any and all assessment and counselling programs as directed by his probation officer.

Contact Jackie Hong at jackie.hong@yukon-news.com

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