Port Moody mayor will not be prosecuted for alleged sexual assault after Crown stays charge

The sexual assault charge against Port Moody Mayor Rob Vagramov has been stayed, meaning he will not be prosecuted further over an incident that took place when he was on a date.

Special prosecutor Michael Klein stayed the charge because Vagramov, 27, has "successfully completed" an alternative measures program, Crown said Wednesday.

The specifics of the alternative measures were not disclosed publicly.

Vagramov was first charged in March. The allegations arose after a date between Vagramov and a woman he'd been seeing in 2015, according to the mayor's lawyer.

"[This involved] two adults, fully clothed, in daylight, on a third date, in circumstances where many people might have thought there was consent but [the complaint] said there wasn't," Ian Donaldson told reporters outside the courthouse in Port Coquitlam, B.C., on Wednesday morning.

Alternative measures are a process that allows for a resolution outside of the courts. Programs can be used in cases involving less serious offences, according to the province.

The programs usually involve offenders who don't have a criminal history. The accused is given an opportunity to accept responsibility for the crime and make amends to the community, without going to court.

"If the most affected parties are able to make peace outside of the court system, that happens. And that's what's happened here, essentially," Donaldson said.

"The system recognizes the difference between an awkward date and predatory behaviour," the lawyer added.

Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press

Donaldson said the terms of Vagramov's alternative measures "are a private matter" between Vagramov, the complainant and probation officials.

Asked whether Vagramov accepted any responsibility or apologized to the complainant, Donaldson said he could not say.

"As for the two of them, they've made peace. Let's put it that way," Donaldson said.

Justin McElroy/CBC

Crown counsel guidelines state certain sex assault offences may be referred for alternative measures if the following conditions are met:

  • The victim has been consulted and the victim's views considered.
  • The victim has been made aware of available victim assistance programs.
  • The accused has no apparent history of violence or sexual offences.
  • An alternative measure is not contrary to the public interest.

Vagramov took a leave of absence after the charge was sworn. He returned to his job in September, but left again in mid-October saying he was "exercising discretion" to go back on leave until he was cleared of an offence.

The mayor has yet to comment on the stayed charge. He did not appear in court on Wednesday.