Manitoba’s highest court has ordered a new trial for a former Mountie found guilty of sexually assaulting a nine-year-old girl.
In a decision released today, the Appeal Court quashed Robert Dowd’s 2017 convictions of sexual assault and sexual interference.
He was accused of inappropriately touching the girl in 2014 while he was off duty at a campground in Manitoba’s Interlake region.
Dowd, who was sentenced to one year in jail, denied the allegations at trial.
The Appeal Court says the trial judge called the officer’s denial “contrived” and his credibility was questioned without “a fair and orderly trial process.”
It says that’s because Dowd’s version of events was never presented to the complainant during cross-examination.
The trial heard the girl was with her father, brother and six other people, including Dowd, at a campfire.
The girl testified the officer wanted to leave to look for a satellite in the sky and, when they were alone, he inappropriately touched her.
Dowd denied the allegation, saying he only took the girl to show her where the bathroom was inside his motorhome.