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‘I really regret it’: Former VPD officer apologizes during sex charge sentencing

Attorney General and Minister of Justice Suzanne Anton, left, congratulates Vancouver Police Department Det. Const. Jim Fisher at the 16th annual Ministry of Justice Community Safety and Crime Prevention Awards in Burnaby on October 31, 2014 in this handout photo.
Attorney General and Minister of Justice Suzanne Anton, left, congratulates Vancouver Police Department Det. Const. Jim Fisher at the 16th annual Ministry of Justice Community Safety and Crime Prevention Awards in Burnaby on October 31, 2014 in this handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Province of British Columbia, Don Craig

Day one of a pre-sentencing hearing for a former Vancouver Police officer charged with breach of trust and sexual exploitation concluded Friday without a decision on Jim Fisher’s fate.

Fisher served with the VPD for 29 years, and had been considered a leading detective on the force’s Counter-Exploitation Unit.

He was charged with more than a half-dozen offences after kissing two young women, one of whom was 17 years old at the time, back in 2015.

READ MORE: Vancouver Police counter exploitation detective charged with sexual exploitation and assault

According to the BC Prosecution Service, both women were witnesses in a criminal case.

Fisher pleaded guilty to three sex offence charges, two involving a minor, in March.

On Friday, Fisher read an apology in court saying that he was embarrassed and ashamed of his actions. He said there were no excuses or justifications for his behaviour.

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Fisher’s lawyer told the court the former officer felt flattered and surprised by the interactions with the woman.

WATCH: Vancouver Police officer facing sexual exploitation charges

Click to play video: 'Vancouver Police officer facing sexual exploitation charges'
Vancouver Police officer facing sexual exploitation charges

As part of an investigation into Fisher’s actions, the two young women agreed to have their phone calls recorded. The calls were played in court on Friday along with victim testimonies via video.

READ MORE: Former VPD detective faces new sex assault charges

In one recording, Fisher can be heard saying, “I’ve never done anything like this before. I don’t do this to meet girls. I didn’t plan it. We got close. It was the wrong way to go. I really regret it.”

Fisher’s defence argued that the charges and allegations have had a negative impact on the former police officer’s personal and professional life.

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Crown is seeking 18 to 20 months’ jail time, with probation to follow.

Defence cited Fisher’s history of community work and coaching, and argued those factors should be taken into consideration in his sentencing. His lawyers are requesting a sentence of time served, with 18 to 20 months to be served in the community.

The sentencing hearing will re-commence in two weeks.

WATCH: A Vancouver police detective is facing charges including sexual assault and sexual exploitation

Click to play video: 'VPD Officer Charged'
VPD Officer Charged

Fisher was originally arrested in December 2016, following an investigation spurred on by information from another police officer.

He was suspended as a result of the investigation, but remained on active duty up until his arrest. Fisher retired last year.

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Prior to his arrest, Fisher had been a respected and decorated officer with the Vancouver Police Department (VPD).

READ MORE: Vancouver man convicted in teen prostitution case

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He was awarded the VPD’s Chief Constable’s Unit Citation for his work heading up the investigation that cracked Reza Moazami‘s teen human trafficking ring.

Moazami was the first person convicted of human trafficking in B.C., and was handed a 23-year sentence for pimping teen girls, some as young as 14.

Before his work with the Counter-Exploitation Unit, Fisher coordinated the VPD’s intelligence unit, specializing in Asian crime.

-With files from Jill Bennett

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