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Crown highlights power imbalance between N.B. Mountie and teen he allegedly assaulted

Const. Osama Ibrahim, 29, is currently on trial in Saint John on five charges. He is scheduled to return to court on Dec. 12 for a verdict. (Name withheld - image credit)
Const. Osama Ibrahim, 29, is currently on trial in Saint John on five charges. He is scheduled to return to court on Dec. 12 for a verdict. (Name withheld - image credit)

The Crown prosecutor at the trial of a Woodstock-area RCMP officer summed up the case Wednesday by saying Const. Osama Ibrahim "committed multiple criminal offences while he was on duty and in uniform."

Christopher Lavigne said Ibrahim also used his status as a police officer to avoid detection.

Ibrahim, 29, is on trial on five charges — assault, sexual assault, choking during an assault, carrying, using or threatening to use a weapon during an assault, and breach of trust.

The incidents are alleged to have happened in late 2021 and early 2022 in Saint John, when Ibrahim was 27 and the complainant, whose name is protected by a publication order, was 16.

In addition to a significant size difference, Lavigne said, there was a "significant power imbalance" between Ibrahim and the young complainant. He said Ibrahim was "in his late 20s" and she was 16. He was a police officer and in uniform; she was a high school student.

After a five-day trial in Saint John, lawyers for both sides delivered their final remarks on Wednesday to provincial court Judge Kelly Winchester.

All contact was consensual, defence says

Defence lawyer T.J. Burke said his client didn't have a typical relationship with the 16-year-old because of their cultural beliefs.

When he testified at trial, Ibrahim said as Muslims, the two wouldn't have been permitted to have intimate contact.

Any contact they did have was consensual, said Burke, summing up his client's evidence. He said there was a lot of pinching "and a lot of horseplay back and forth."

The complainant, however, testified the interaction wasn't always consensual and often left bruises.

If that was the case, said Burke, someone would have noticed it and done something about it.

Defence lawyer T.J. Burke leaves the Saint John courthouse on Wednesday afternoon.
Defence lawyer T.J. Burke leaves the Saint John courthouse on Wednesday afternoon.

Defence lawyer T.J. Burke leaves the Saint John courthouse on Wednesday afternoon. (Roger Cosman/CBC)

Burke reminded the court that Ibrahim outright denied some of the allegations against him, including ones involving his police handcuffs, extendable baton, Taser and ammunition for his carbine.

Ibrahim said he used his handcuffs on the teen at her request and didn't tighten them. Similarly, he said, the baton was only shown and not used on the girl.

As for the Taser, Ibrahim testified that it didn't happen at all.

Burke said the RCMP's protocol for equipment was so lax, it couldn't be proven which Taser Ibrahim was assigned.

At trial, the court heard that Ibrahim usually drove a cruiser from the Woodstock area for his overtime shifts in Grand Bay-Westfield.

In Woodstock, Tasers were assigned to specific vehicles, and on the night where Ibrahim spent eight of his 10-hour shift with the complainant's family with his cruiser parked and running on the street, the Taser assigned to that vehicle was "arced" or deployed.

Ibrahim testified there were more Tasers than vehicles, and he could have easily grabbed another Taser, since the sign-out records were spotty.

Burke said there were many examples of "competing stories" and "significant inconsistencies" between what the girl and her family told the court and Ibrahim's testimony.

RCMP Const. Osama Ibrahim is on trial for assault, sexual assault, choking during an assault, using or threatening to use a weapon during an assault, and breach of trust.
RCMP Const. Osama Ibrahim is on trial for assault, sexual assault, choking during an assault, using or threatening to use a weapon during an assault, and breach of trust.

Ibrahim has been on trial for assault, sexual assault, choking during an assault, carrying, using or threatening to use a weapon during an assault, and breach of trust. (Name withheld)

Lavigne said Ibrahim used "evolving justification after the fact."

Under cross-examination about the time he spent eight hours of his 10-hour overtime shift with the complainant's family, Ibrahim said he was actually in the vehicle catching up on files.

When Lavigne asked him why a city employee called dispatch about a police cruiser unattended whenever he passed by, Ibrahim suggested he probably had to use the washroom or went to get something to eat.

In closing remarks on Thursday, Lavigne said Ibrahim also showed a pattern of behaviour that attempted to mislead dispatch about his whereabouts.

Records entered at trial show Ibrahim frequently used the code for "roving patrol" when he was spending time with the family, once calling it in nine times in the span of a few hours.

Ibrahim said he wasn't trying to hide his location. It was "an honest mistake," Burke told the court on Wednesday.

Winchester reserved decision and adjourned the case until Dec. 12.