An internal RCMP investigation into a series of sex and drinking escapades in a staff sergeant’s office revealed a pattern of sexual harassment so disturbing that senior Ottawa Mounties say it will take “considerable effort to rebuild the damaged trust of our organization.”
The investigation, which has not been made public until now, reviewed seven reports about the misconduct of Staff Sgt. Don Ray, the officer in charge of the polygraph unit at Alberta’s RCMP headquarters in Edmonton.
Internal Affairs investigators discovered Sgt. Ray was hosting after-hours parties in his office and kept a bar fridge stocked with Budweiser and Appleton Jamaica Rum. Sgt. Ray would encourage female subordinates to drink and make sexual advances when alone with them, the investigation found.
In April 2009, close to the end of one work day, Sgt. Ray invited his staff to a private office party at which he invited them to sit down and have a drink.
One of his female subordinates consumed four beers over two hours, and once the others left, Sgt. Ray unzipped his pants, exposed himself and told her to touch his penis, according to RCMP files. She refused.
“S/Sgt. Ray then wanted to have sexual intercourse with Ms. A, which she refused. S/Sgt. Ray insisted but Ms. A. maintained her refusal. They then both left the building without further sexual contact,” a senior disciplinary officer wrote in his findings in February.
The investigation said Sgt. Ray exhibited a “serial” pattern of “disgraceful” conduct.
Sgt. Ray’s behaviour is the latest in a series of complaints of sexual harassment and discrimination levelled against the RCMP across the country.
A high-profile RCMP veteran, Cpl. Catherine Galliford, ignited the controversy last fall by speaking publicly about her internal allegations of sexual harassment and abuse by former male colleagues.
The sad thing is that it gets worse and it’s only one of many negative stories coming out lately of RCMP misconduct.