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Toronto police officer gets 4 years in prison for sexually assaulting 'vulnerable' woman

A Toronto police constable has been sentenced to four years in prison for sexual assault.  (Evan Mitsui/CBC - image credit)
A Toronto police constable has been sentenced to four years in prison for sexual assault. (Evan Mitsui/CBC - image credit)

A Toronto police officer was sentenced to four years in prison on Wednesday for sexually assaulting a "vulnerable" woman nearly two years ago.

Const. Conal Quinn, 54, who has been a police officer for 23 years, was sentenced at the Ontario Superior Court in Toronto.

The sexual assault occurred at the victim's home on March 21, 2021. Quinn was found guilty of sexual assault on Oct. 27, 2023. Quinn was on duty and in uniform at the time of the incident.

"There is no question that this was a grave breach of trust involving the misuse of Const. Quinn's position as a police officer," Justice J. Penman said in the reasons for sentencing.

"Const. Quinn took advantage of a vulnerable woman and had her engage in sexual activity that was a serious violation of her bodily integrity."

Penman said the impact of the sexual assault on the complainant, including becoming suicidal and having to spend six weeks in hospital, cannot be overstated.

According to the reasons for sentencing, Quinn and his partner were called to residence for allegations of threatening text messages on March 20. The officers went back to station after talking to the complainant.

In front of his partner, Quinn "purported" to phone the complainant to let her know about the status of the investigation. The call never happened and Quinn later returned to her residence without his partner knowing.

"The next day Const. Quinn attended at E.W.'s residence and engaged in non-consensual sexual activity with the complainant, including kissing, vaginal and anal digital penetration and forced fellatio," Penman said.

The victim went to Women's College Hospital the next day and it was found that Quinn's DNA was present in swabs taken from her body. The complainant submitted a statement to Ontario's Special Investigations Unit the day of the sexual assault.

Penman said aggravating factors include that Quinn was on duty, in uniform, armed with a police firearm, there was an "element of planning," the sexual activity was unprotected, the assault has had a "devastating" impact on the complainant and she was a vulnerable person.

Mitigating factors include Quinn's lack of criminal record, he has some remorse, he has already faced punishment in the form of being ostracized from friends and coworkers, his time in custody is likely to be difficult and he has engaged in counselling.

Still, Penman said four years is appropriate given that Quinn destroyed the complainant's "sense of safety" in the world.