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Indecent act charge dropped against South Okanagan RCMP officer

The BC Prosecution Service said the charge against Const. Ryan Fulcher was dropped earlier this year. However, the RCMP says a code of conduct hearing regarding discreditable conduct is scheduled to take place early in 2021. File / Global News

A criminal charge against a South Okanagan RCMP officer for committing an alleged indecent act has been dropped.

This week, the BC Prosecution Service said the charge against Const. Ryan Fulcher was stayed, adding Crown counsel determined that the charge assessment standard was no longer met.

Fulcher had been set to stand trial on one count of committing an indecent act that allegedly occurred in September 2018 at or near Penticton.

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In early January 2020, the BC Prosecution Service told Global News that the trial was set for July 30, and was expected to take two days.

However, on Thursday, Oct. 29, the BC Prosecution Service said the charge had been stayed on May 5.

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While the charge may have been dropped, Fulcher is still slated to face an RCMP code of conduct hearing.

In mid-January, B.C. RCMP announced that Fulcher was scheduled to have the public hearing on Jan. 14, but that it had been changed to an unscheduled in-camera hearing.

The code of conduct hearing involves Sec. 7.1 of the RCMP’s Code of Conduct, which is discreditable conduct.

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The RCMP says Fulcher’s duty status is unchanged and that he’s still suspended with pay. The conduct hearing is expected to occur early in 2021.

Regarding the dropped charge, the BC Prosecution Service said “charges will only be approved or continued where Crown counsel is satisfied that the evidence gathered by the investigative agency provides a substantial likelihood of conviction and, if so, that a prosecution is required in the public interest.”

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It added that “this test applies at all stages of the prosecution. If, at any point, the prosecutor concludes that the evidentiary standard is no longer met or that a prosecution is no longer required in the public interest, a prosecution cannot proceed.

“In this case, the prosecutor concluded the test was no longer met and directed the stay of proceedings.”

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