Closing arguments wrap up in trial of former RCMP inspector charged with sex assault

Click to play video: 'Tim Shields trial – closing arguments'
Tim Shields trial – closing arguments
Crown has begun closing arguments Wednesday in the trial of retired RCMP Inspector Tim Shields, accused of sexually assaulting a civilian employee. Jordan Armstrong reports – Nov 29, 2017

Closing arguments wrapped up today at the trial of a retired RCMP inspector accused of sexually assaulting a civilian employee.

Tim Shields, RCMP’s former chief spokesman in British Columbia, is charged with a single count of sexual assault.

The employee’s identity is protected by an identification ban.

On Tuesday, Shields’ lawyer told the court a friendly relationship between Shields and the employee turned sexual as both Shields and the complainant sent each other flirtatious emails. Shields’ lawyer said there is no basis to the Crown’s view that Shields abused his authority or coerced the woman.

She has testified that in 2009, Shields led her to a unisex washroom at RCMP headquarters, undid her clothing, groped her and put her hand on his genitals.

Crown said she did not consent.

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In court Tuesday, Shields’ lawyer said his client calls the woman “a liar and a perjurer.” He said there was consent in that incident in the washroom.

READ MORE: Former B.C. RCMP spokesperson Tim Shields says hugs were ‘consensual’ at sex assault trial

This trial started in June and has been delayed several times.

The RCMP said in a statement that they became aware of the allegations in 2013 after a civil claim was filed against the Mounties by another employee and a Code of Conduct investigation was launched. At the time, there was insufficient evidence in the case to proceed with an active investigation.

In 2014, according to RCMP, “significant new information became available.” Following the new information, an investigative team was formed and the results were reported to Crown and ultimately resulted in the charge.

Shields was suspended with pay in June 2015 after an internal RCMP investigation, and resigned that December.

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