Police officer with history of stalking romantic rivals gets conditional discharge on 1 of 2 sets of charges

·3 min read
CPS Const. Jacki MacNeil has been handed a conditional discharge on one of her two sets of criminal harassment-related charges. She is not currently on active duty with the Calgary Police Service.  (Calgary Police Youth Foundation - image credit)
CPS Const. Jacki MacNeil has been handed a conditional discharge on one of her two sets of criminal harassment-related charges. She is not currently on active duty with the Calgary Police Service. (Calgary Police Youth Foundation - image credit)

A Calgary police officer who stalked a romantic rival, sending her 132 emails over five days, has been granted a conditional discharge after being sent back to trial on charges of harassment.

But Const. Jacqueline MacNeil, who was previously disciplined for similar behaviour, still faces another set of harassment-related charges which are currently before the courts.

On Friday, MacNeil pleaded guilty to one count of unwanted communication for targeting a woman who had gone on dates with her on-again, off-again spouse in 2018.

While a charge of criminal harassment was withdrawn, an agreed statement of facts described MacNeil's actions toward the complainant as "harassing."

'Your reputation will be [mud]'

A conditional discharge means there is a finding of guilt but if MacNeil abides by court-ordered conditions that she stay away from her victim and attend counseling for 12 months, a conviction will not be registered and she will not have a criminal record.

The harassment took place over a seven-month span in 2018 but the most intense period was between April 29 and May 4 when 132 emails and Facebook messages were sent to the victim from MacNeil.

"You are a home wrecking whore and I am going to make sure every cop … knows[s] that."

"Your reputation will be [mud]," wrote MacNeil, who also threatened to contact the woman's employer.

A 'toxic' relationship 

At the time, MacNeil's common-law relationship had just ended and she'd discovered he was dating the other woman.

Defence lawyer Jim Lutz described MacNeil's relationship with her former spouse as "toxic."

"She was very relieved the matter is concluded and looks forward to moving forward with her life and career," said Lutz after court.

Last year, provincial court Judge Michelle Christopher ruled MacNeil's Charter rights were violated because of missing video evidence. Christopher issued a stay of proceedings.

But in April, a superior court judge ruled MacNeil was either "negligent" or "strategic" in pursuing that evidence and sent the case back to trial.

Instead of the trial resuming, defence lawyer Lutz and prosecutor Rayne Thompson made a plea deal which was accepted by Christopher on Friday.

Police Act guilty pleas

MacNeil's legal woes are not yet over.

Last month, she was arrested and charged with criminal harassment.

Although the Calgary Police Service (CPS) did not give details of the allegations faced by MacNeil, sources say the new offence is closely related to her previous behaviour.

Those charges are still before the courts.

In 2020, MacNeil was disciplined under the Police Act for harassing a different woman who had also dated her former spouse.

Not on active duty

The officer pleaded guilty to charges of discreditable conduct and insubordination, admitting she harassed a woman over text messages, followed her and set up a fake dating account to lure her to a meeting spot.

In addition to the harassment, MacNeil also admitted to searching the woman's personal information on internal CPS databases 13 times.

The presiding officer who accepted MacNeil's guilty pleas and handed her a one-year demotion and one-week suspension without pay penalty wrote that MacNeil had a history of "similar behaviour" and that she had been warned in the past about the inappropriateness of her actions.

The related behaviour, wrote the presiding officer, was "addressed at the supervisory level" in past instances.

Calgary police say the officer, who has been with CPS for 16 years, is not currently on active duty.

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