London, Ont., officer guilty of discreditable conduct over harassment

A uniformed London police patch, Sept. 6, 2017. Matthew Trevithick/980 CFPL

A London, Ont., police officer has been found guilty under the Police Services Act of one count of discreditable conduct over “harassing behaviour” against a woman in Kitchener, identified only as R.P.

Const. Stephen Williams previously pleaded guilty to another count of discreditable conduct relating to “harassing communications.”

Penalty submissions in relation to both counts will begin June 15, police say.

Read more: London police constable docked 70 hours’ pay over discreditable conduct, neglect of duty

The adjudicator’s decision, dated May 2, says Williams stated that in November 2017 he was having relationships with three women, including R.P., who all believed they were in a monogamous relationship with him.

“Williams states he has used women for his own needs for his entire life. He also agreed in his interview that a normal person would not engage in the behaviour he was conducting with R.P. when she did not wish to communicate with him and he repeatedly ignored those directions,” the decision reads.

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The count of discreditable conduct relating to harassing behaviours involves incidents that occurred between April 1, 2016 and Nov. 22, 2017.

R.P. testified that the two met on an online dating service in the fall of 2013 and began an “unstable” on-again, off-again relationship in June 2014 that lasted until November 2017.

Read more: ‘Lunging’ Hamilton police officer charged with assault

She testified that at one point, he tampered with her car so that she would have to walk to work. Her boss at the time testified that he would let her leave early to avoid the issue of Williams following her from work.

After their first “mega” breakup, he showed up unannounced with his son on May 13, 2016, claiming to be looking at real estate in the area.

“Utilizing his son to gain benefit I find to be a low point for this officer which shows the extent he would proceed to achieve the goal of communicating with R.P.,” the decision states.

Williams would continue to call, text and email R.P. He testified that he even “made ‘spoofed’ calls to R.P. with the express idea to make contact with her, even when he knew she did not want to communicate or have him attend at her place of residence or work.”

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Read more: Waterloo police officer charged with criminal harassment in Norfolk County

The adjudicator wrote that the “most recent application of the test for discreditable conduct in Ontario” shows that it is primarily an objective finding, with conduct measured against the “reasonable expectations of the community.”

If the citizens of Waterloo Region and the City of London were aware of Williams’ actions, the adjudicator says, “I have no doubt that his actions would bring the reputation of this Service into disrepute.”

“When you view the totality of the behaviour displayed by Constable Williams by way of texts, calls, emails, unwanted or unannounced attendance at R.P.’s place of work or residence, the utilization of his son, the dinner reservations, purported selling of his residence, the query on CPIC (Canadian Police Information Centre) and the total lack of adhering to R.P.’s wishes he was not conducting himself at the high standard of behaviour that is expected of a police officer.”

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Williams also faced one count of discreditable conduct over his use of a handheld device unrelated to his duties while he was operating a marked cruiser, which was dismissed.

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In that case, the decision states that he was lip-syncing a song while holding onto his phone while driving to a call but that “the lip-syncing of officers and presenting them via Facebook was an accepted challenge participated in by numerous police services.”

As previously stated, the penalty submissions under the Police Services Act will begin June 15.

There is no relation between Const. Steve Williams and London police Chief Steve Williams.

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