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Civil claim says former Kelowna RCMP officer sexually harassed assault victim

Civil claim alleges former Kelowna RCMP officer sexually harassed assault victim
In civil court documents, former Kelowna RCMP officer Brian Mathew Burkett is accused of sexually harassing vulnerable women. Jules Knox reports.

A second person has filed a notice of civil claim against former Kelowna RCMP officer Brian Matthew Burkett.

The newest claim was filed in B.C. Supreme Court in Kelowna on Monday, alleging that Burkett tried to pursue a sexual relationship with the plaintiff, and that he sexually harassed her.

The claim says the incidents stemmed from when Burkett visited the plaintiff in May 2016 following an alleged report of domestic assault.

READ MORE: Seven charges of breach of trust laid against former B.C. Mountie

In September, the B.C. Prosecution Service announced that Burkett was facing charges after allegations of misconduct against seven people.

In October, another female plaintiff filed a civil claim, stating Burkett sexually harassed her by repeatedly texting and requesting explicit pictures of her breasts and genitalia.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

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On Tuesday, the RCMP told Global News that since Burkett is no longer a police officer, and combined with ongoing court matters, it would be inappropriate to comment.

Kelowna RCMP officer suspended for allegedly sexting assault victim
Kelowna RCMP officer suspended for allegedly sexting assault victim

In the newest civil claim, the plaintiff says Burkett visited the plaintiff’s house alone to take pictures of her injuries following an alleged domestic assault.

The claim says Burkett took note of the plaintiff’s address plus cellphone and work numbers.

“The plaintiff was under the impression that the taking of her personal information by Burkett was part of the standard police investigation procedure,” said the civil claim.

“However, to the surprise and distress of the plaintiff, Burkett used the plaintiff’s personal information to sexually [harass] the plaintiff. Burkett sent the plaintiff via text inappropriate pictures of himself.

“In addition, Burkett sent the plaintiff text messages stating that he would be visiting the plaintiff while he was on shift.

“Burkett also informed the plaintiff that when he visits the plaintiff, he expects certain sexual favours, Burkett outlined in his text messages the sexual acts that he expects the plaintiff to perform.”

Kelowna RCMP officer charged with sexual assault
Kelowna RCMP officer charged with sexual assault

The claim said “the plaintiff did not reply to Burkett’s inappropriate messages; as a result, Burkett threatened the plaintiff with sexual assault.”

The claim went on, stating Burkett ought to have known that by contacting the plaintiff in such a manner he was breaching public trust, and that he was causing the plaintiff significant emotional and psychological harm.

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“As a direct, foreseeable and proximate result of the defendant’s unlawful actions, the plaintiff lost her job as a financial consultant manager because she took time off to deal with stress and anxiety,” said the claim.

“The plaintiff has suffered and continues to suffer substantial losses in earnings, equity and other employment benefits and has incurred other economic losses.”

READ MORE: Second $100M settlement announced in RCMP sexual harassment case

The claim also pointed fingers at the Kelowna RCMP detachment, stating the plaintiff was subjected to further insensitivity and improper behavour by colleagues of Burkett.

Okanagan RCMP are dismissing a high number of sexual assault cases as unfounded
Okanagan RCMP are dismissing a high number of sexual assault cases as unfounded

“While the plaintiff was recovering from surgery at home, in October 2016, Kelowna RCMP members broke down the door of the plaintiff’s house, startled the plaintiff in her sleep, detained, and forced her into a police vehicle against her will and drove her to a hospital.”

The claim said the plaintiff was informed by RCMP members that they got an anonymous tip that she was unwell.

It also said after the plaintiff returned home in a taxi, she, family members and friends repaired the front door. It added several messages were left for the detachment’s watch commander, but the plaintiff received no return phone calls.

“The plaintiff left the Kelowna area to avoid further harassment by the RCMP members,” said the claim. “The Kelowna RCMP was never concerned about the plaintiff’s safety.”

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