A Surrey RCMP officer is facing charges related to child luring after a Surrey Creep Catchers video claimed to nab a Surrey cop in a video last week.
On Sept. 9, Dario Devic was charged with communicating with a person who was under the age of 16 for the purposes of sexual interference or sexual touching, and breach of trust related to his duties.
On Oct. 18, the Criminal Justice Branch (CJB) approved the charge of luring a child against Devic but after a full review of the evidence, the branch concluded the charge of breach of trust related to his duties did not meet the necessary requirements. The charge was subsequently dropped.
BC RCMP launched an investigation after a video shot by the controversial group allegedly showed an RCMP officer meeting an underage girl and streamed the encounter live on Facebook. Creep Catchers is a controversial network of people who bait people to arrange to meet juveniles and confront them in person, all with the cameras rolling.
Acting Cmdr. Brenda Butterworth-Carr said, the RCMP received a call before 10 p.m. with regards to the incident after it started to play out on social media.
The investigation includes allegations of child luring and sexual exploitation involving an RCMP officer. Butterworth-Carr said within a few hours they were able to identify and locate the suspect officer.
BC RCMP also initiated an internal Code of Conduct investigation, which is being led by the Surrey RCMP Professional Standards unit, the Integrated Child Exploitation Unit and the RCMP Major Crimes Unit.
Since the incident, investigators have identified witnesses, conducted interviews and gathered evidence. As the investigation progressed, Butterworth-Carr said the suspect officer was arrested and taken into custody shortly after the incident.
He was later released following a judicial bail hearing and conditions of his bail include no use of the internet, no contact with children under 16 and not being in facilities where children under 16 would be expected to gather.
In a press conference last week, Butterworth-Carr made it clear that “if these allegations are substantiated, we will be taking immediate steps to separate ourselves from this individual. These allegations are egregious and not in keeping with what we expect of our employees. There is no room in the RCMP for this kind of behavior or individual.”
The defence attorney for Devic released a statement Friday afternoon, stating: “Mr. Devic is very eager to have this matter dealt with before the court and he intends to vigorously defend himself. It is particularly concerning that the “Surrey Creep Catchers” have already mistakenly identified a police officer in this matter. No further comment on this matter will be made by our office.”
Mounties say the officer remains suspended from duty and he is scheduled to appear in Surrey Provincial Court on Oct. 19.