A Vancouver police officer has been convicted of sexual assault, over an incident in Whistler two years ago.
Jagraj “Roger” Berar, 55, received the verdict at the North Vancouver provincial court on Wednesday.
The incident was reported to Squamish RCMP on July 19, 2019, and was alleged to have happened several days prior on July 15.
The court heard that Berar and the victim, who he had not met until that day, had spent the day and evening socializing with colleagues and drinking in the Whistler village.
The group eventually returned to Berar’s hotel suite, where the victim testified she threw up in the bathroom. The court heard that she blacked out, and woke up to find Berar performing a sexual act on her in a suite.
The court heard she told him to stop, before gathering her belongings and leaving.
Berar testified that the pair had shared a pull out couch in the suite, that he had woken to find her grinding into him, and that he “believed she was consenting because of the body movements and the sounds she was making,” Judge Joanne Challenger said in her reasons for judgement.
“I find her (the victim) to have been credible and reliable witness on the key events. I accept she was unconscious and at times semi-conscious and therefore could not give and did not consent,” Challenger said.
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Berar was charged in November 2019 with Mounties at the time describing it as an “isolated incident involving persons known to each other,” that was unrelated to his job as a police officer.
Berar been suspended with pay since 2019, according to Vancouver police.
“We were shocked to learn the details in this case and we take these matters very seriously,” VPD spokesperson Sgt. Steve Addison said.
“While it would be inappropriate to comment on the court’s decision, the facts in the case are deeply concerning and we respect the court’s decision.”
Addison said Berar will still face a separate investigation under the Police Act.
More to come.