An Ottawa police officer has pleaded guilty to assaulting four women he met online, as well as threatening to dispose of one woman's body if he ever caught her cheating on him.
Const. Eric Post was initially charged with 32 criminal offences involving seven women. The charges included sexual assault, forcible confinement and uttering threats. During a virtual court hearing Thursday, Post pleaded guilty to four charges of assault and one charge of uttering threats.
According to the agreed statement of facts presented to court, the incidents involved women Post had met through online dating platforms. The women cannot be identified due to a publication ban.
One woman said Post told her that if she ever cheated on him, he could dump her body in the water and get away with it because he's a police officer.
Woman grabbed by neck, slapped
Post agreed he should not have made the comment and said he did so to intimidate the woman, though he maintained he would not have acted on the threat.
The same woman said Post grabbed her tightly by the neck and slapped her face when she tried to leave following an argument. The woman said when she went to strike back, Post told her she'd be assaulting a police officer.
Two of the other assault charges also resulted from arguments that arose when Post tried to prevent the women from leaving. In those cases he grabbed the women by their wrists, court heard.
The fourth assault came at the end of a first date, when Post grabbed the woman by her neck and chin and told her he "did not know whether he wanted to choke her or kiss her."
Woman feared reprisal
One of the women said she was worried about filing a complaint with Ottawa police after their two-year relationship ended because she feared Post "would make her life, and the lives of those around her, hell."
The original charges included the alleged assault of a woman at gunpoint in 2017 while Post was on duty. CBC's The Fifth Estate has learned the woman in that case died unexpectedly in September.
In October 2018, Post was released on strict bail conditions including house arrest and a ban from online dating sites. The Crown and defence later brokered a plea deal.
Court heard that Post has never been formally disciplined by Ottawa police during his 18 years with the service, though there have been complaints against him through the service's professional standards section.
At the end of Thursday's hearing, Post's lawyers said he will remain under his pre-trial conditions until sentencing in April.