RCMP officers formally charged with sexual assault

The Watson Lake circuit court dealt swiftly with the case of RCMP officers Graham Belak and Shawn McLaughlin Monday morning, setting a date for the next court procedure and little more.

The Watson Lake circuit court dealt swiftly with the case of RCMP officers Graham Belak and Shawn McLaughlin Monday morning, setting a date for the next court procedure and little more.

The two police officers, who have each been charged with sexually assaulting a woman on March 13, were represented by a lawyer who is only temporarily acting as their legal agent. Gordon Coffin didn’t file a plea on the defendant’s behalf, asking only for a court date to decide whether the case will be presided by a jury or simply a judge.

The Watson Lake court, which sets up shop every six weeks in the town of 846, crowded the Government of Yukon building’s hallways all day.

Belak and McLaughlin were made formally aware of the charges before them on Monday. Their next court date is June 2nd and will be followed by a plea.

Both officers have been suspended with pay by the RCMP, and they are prohibited from consuming alcohol or being in contact with the sexual assault victim.

RCMP arrest four suspected cocaine dealers

Whitehorse RCMP rounded up four suspected cocaine traffickers Sunday, including three women.

A 24-year-old woman was caught selling cocaine in Porter Creek earlier in the day. A 43-year-old woman was subsequently arrested in the McIntyre subdivision for the same charges.

RCMP were not available to comment on whether the two arrests were related, but a news release noted a male and another woman were arrested for drug-related offences by the end of the night.