Calgary police officer's trial to resume: Judge overturns stay on harassment charges

·1 min read

EDMONTON — A judge has overturned a decision to stay charges against a Calgary police officer and has ordered her trial resume on charges of criminal harassment and unwanted communication.

Const. Jacqueline MacNeil, a 14-year member of the Calgary Police Service, was originally charged in 2019.

Police allege that between April and November 2018, MacNeil excessively contacted a woman and threatened to ruin her reputation personally and professionally.

The investigative report was sent to the Edmonton Crown prosecutor, who determined charges were warranted, and the case went to trial last year.

MacNeil, who represented herself, argued her right to a fair trial was irreparably harmed because a detective's audio-video interview with the complainant was never disclosed, then inadvertently destroyed.

The trial judge agreed and entered a stay of proceedings, but Edmonton Court of Queen's Bench Justice Rodney Jerke has ruled that the judge erred and has ordered the trial to continue.

"The trial judge erred in finding that there had been a breach of the respondent’s Section 7 charter rights. Even if there was a breach, this is not the 'clearest of cases' where a stay would be appropriate," Jerke wrote.

"The appeal is allowed, the stay is vacated, and the matter is remitted back to the trial judge to complete the trial, with a direction that the respondent be allowed to reopen her case."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 26, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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