Canadian soldier who filmed himself sexually abusing colleague has appeal dismissed
February 26, 2023, 16:00:01 CET | Wikinews

Sunday, February 26, 2023 


The Canadian Embassy, Washington, D.C. on September 11, 2009. Image: Matthew G. Bisanz.

Crime and law
Related articles


26 February 2023: Canadian soldier who filmed himself sexually abusing colleague has appeal dismissed
23 February 2023: Reports: 'streamlined' UK asylum process to replace interview with questionnaire for five nationalities
20 February 2023: Bulgarian police arrest four over eighteen dead migrants in abandoned truck
18 February 2023: Tennessee, US former police officers plead not guilty in Tyre Nichols' death
2 February 2023: More than 100 killed in mosque bombing in Pakistan

Crime and law
Collaborate!

Pillars of Wikinews writing
Writing an article


The Supreme Court of Canada February 17 dismissed 8-0 an appeal by ex-corporal Colin McGregor arguing the investigation that led to his 2019 conviction for sexual assault violated the Charter of Rights and Freedoms' demands for reasonable search and seizure.

Its unanimous judgment ends McGregor's multi-year court battle with successively higher bodies by describing the police's investigation of his US home "reasonable pursuant to Charter standards."

On September 30, 2019, McGregor was found guilty of two counts of voyeurism, one count of possession of a device for surreptitious interception of private communications, one count of sexual assault and one count of disgraceful conduct for incidents that took place between 2011 and 2017.

That Thursday, he was sentenced by a military judge at Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt in British Columbia to three years prison and another twenty years on the sex offender registry, and was 'dismissed with disgrace' from the Armed Forces.

After last Friday's ruling, his sentence will continue in full. Moreover, after his release, he will be barred from future employment with the Canadian government.

From August 2015 to March 2017, McGregor was posted to the Canadian Defence Liaison Staff at Canada's US embassy, which automatically gave him diplomatic immunity.

In January 2017, another member of the Canadian Armed Forces, also in Washington, D.C., found two audio recording devices in her home. Believing McGregor was responsible, she reported him to her senior officer, and to investigate, the Embassy waived McGregor's diplomatic immunity at the request of the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service (CFNIS).

On February 16, 2017, CFNIS agents and local Virginia police executed a search warrant at the then-corporal's staff quarters in Alexandria, seizing computers, CDs, storage devices and five hidden cameras.

Forensic analysis showed a 2011 video of McGregor groping an unconscious woman in Victoria and recordings from inside McGregor's home of a woman using the restroom and a video of cartoon characters appearing aged under eighteen engaging in sex acts; a child pornography charge for the latter was later dropped.

The woman videoed later told the Esquimalt court she believed it was taken on a night when she invited McGregor over for drinks and video games. She reported blacking out and awakening to find him sexually touching her.

McGregor had sought to have the videos and images excluded from evidence, arguing the search violated Section 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms that protects Canadians from "unreasonable search or seizure."

The move and a subsequent appeal were rejected, with the Court Martial Appeal Court holding the Charter did not apply outside Canada and, notwithstanding, the search was permissible.


The Supreme Court on February 7, 2010. Image: D. Gordon E. Robertson.
His latest appeal to Canada's top court argued the search violated the Charter by inviting a re-evaluation of the controversial 2007 ruling R v Hape, that presently governs extraterritoriality. His counsel Diana Mansour told the court on May 19, 2022 military personnel "ought to have their Charter rights guaranteed when investigated by Canadian military police for Canadian criminal offences.

"The portability of the military justice system allows Canadian criminal law to apply to our military members when they are serving anywhere in the world and with it, so should the Charter apply."

Patrice Germain, counsel for the Crown respondent, argued that Section 8 "did not apply to the search of the appellant [McGregor's] residence in the United States, because Virginia state law, under which it was conducted, is not within the authority of Parliament or a provincial legislature."

Justice Suzanne Côté, writing for the majority, said the warrant the CFNIS obtained and executed under Virginia law authorized the search, seizure and analysis of McGregor's electronic devices: "A search is reasonable within the meaning of [Section 8] of the Charter if it is authorized by law, if the law itself is reasonable and if the manner in which the search was carried out is reasonable."

As well as "authorized by law", the court also found the search was not "more intrusive than necessary", Côté writing: "It is difficult to see how the CFNIS investigators could have acted differently to attain their legitimate investigative objectives.

"Simply put, I would dismiss the appeal even if I were to accept Cpl. McGregor's argument that the Charter applies extraterritorially in the present context."

In fact, the Court left the Charter's scope ambiguous, explaining: "I [Côté, representing four judges' opinions and her own] find it unnecessary to deal with the issue of extraterritoriality to dispose of this appeal [because] the CFNIS did not violate the Charter" to begin with.

After the ruling, Mansour said: "We accept the court’s decision which leaves open the opportunity for another matter to address the legal issue of the extraterritorial application of the Charter in the Canadian military context."

In an email to Law360 Canada, co-counsels for the Crown Chavi Walsh, Natasha Thiessen and Patrice Germain said the CFNIS investigation was "a textbook case of successful international law enforcement cooperation, which respected the rights of the accused and complied with Canada’s international legal obligations.

"This case demonstrates that the Canadian Armed Forces can maintain crucial military discipline by effectively investigating and prosecuting crimes, including those of sexual violence, anywhere the CAF operates."






Have an opinion on this story? Share it!



Sources[edit]
Cristin Schmitz. "SCC declines to decide if Charter applies outside Canada; Justice Brown on ‘leave of absence’" — Law360 Canada, February 23, 2023
Peter Zimonjic. "Supreme Court says diplomatic immunity does not shield soldier from search that led to sex assault conviction" — CBC, February 17, 2023
Suzanne Côté, Andromache Karakatsanis, Sheilah Martin, Malcolm Rowe. "R. v. McGregor, 2023 SCC 4 (CanLII)" — Canadian Legal Information Institute, February 17, 2023
"Case in Brief: R. v. McGregor" — Supreme Court of Canada, February 17, 2023
"Webcast of the Hearing on 2022-05-19" — Supreme Court of Canada, May 19, 2022
Richard Watts. "Former army corporal gets three years on sex-assault charges, then walks free" — Victoria Times Colonist, October 4, 2019
Todd Coyne. "Ex-corporal sentenced to 3 years in prison, 20 years on sex offender registry" — CTV News, October 3, 2019
Martin Pelletier. "McGregor C.R. (Corporal), R. v., 2019 CM 4015 (CanLII)" — Canadian Legal Information Institute, September 30, 2019
Kendra Crighton. "Retired Canadian Forces member guilty of sex assault and using spy cameras to record coworkers" — Victoria News, September 30, 2019
Martin Pelletier. "McGregor C.R. (Corporal), R. v., 2018 CM 4023 (CanLII)" — Canadian Legal Information Institute, September 13, 2018





Share this: 

Source: Wikinews
Share this article:
share article on facebook share article on twitter share article on google+ share article on tumblr share article on blogger share article on reddit

Articles that may interest you:


Microsoft, Nware sign 10-year cloud gaming deal

Monday, May 1, 2023  Economy and business Related articles 1 May 2023: Microsoft, Nwa...

Former Japanese princess Mako Komuro moves to...

Monday, November 15, 2021  Japan Related articles 8 August 2021: Ten injured, suspect ...

Police reports indicate theft of automotive c...

Crime and law Related articles 21 June 2021: Police reports indicate theft of automotive ...
Send us your articles and web-novels!
comments powered by Disqus
Most popular


Recently Viewed:


Canadian soldier who filmed himself sexually abusing...

Sunday, February 26, 2023  The Canadian Embassy, Washington, D.C. on September 11, 2009. I...


Fifty dead in floods, landslides across Northern, Ea...

Friday, August 26, 2022  India Related articles 26 August 2022: Fifty dead in floods, ...


US: Writers, entertainment producers' groups meet tw...

Wednesday, August 9, 2023  WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikers in June. Image: ufcw770. Labor ...


Study: floods, droughts more intense in past 20 year...

Sunday, March 19, 2023  Wildfire during Brazil's dry season on September 20, 2015. Image: ...


Naked statues of Donald Trump appear in various US c...

A number of statues depicting US presidential candidate Donald Trump without his clothes on ...

Automotive
Reviews | Technology | Projects & Tuning | Events | Racing
Business & Technology
Business & Economy | Mobile | Internet & Media | Security & Privacy | Gadgets & Tech | Software
Lifestyle
Health, Food & Fitness | Fashion | Gardening | DIY | Homes
Society
Accidents | Crime | Culture | Finance | Politics
Science & Environment
Wildlife | Green | Space
Gaming
Reviews
Society
Accidents | Crime | Culture | Finance | Politics
Travel
MM-iNEWS
Copyright & Privacy | Site Roadmap | Sitemap | Contact
Web Development @ OverHertz Ltd
Ω