A former chief of the Fort St. James fire department has been granted a new trial by the B.C. Court of Appeal, after he was sentenced to nine months in jail and two years probation for sexually assaulting three female volunteers over a six-and-a-half-year period, ending in July 2013.
One of his alleged victims says the abuse was constant.
“He grabbed our butts, our bums on more than one occasion, he would grab our hips, for me he grabbed my hips and rubbed his genitals against me. He grabbed my crotch on one occasion, very much like the Donald Trump thing.”
She says she often experienced sexual harassment in the workplace.
“He would ask us to have sex with him in his office, he would make sexually rude comments, he would constantly refer to our breasts or our asses in conversation.”
"He grabbed our butts, he grabbed my hips and rubbed genitals against me" says former female Fort.St James firefighter of chief's conduct.— Shelby Thom (@ShelbyThom980) October 18, 2016
Former Fort St. James fire chief granted new trial after he was sentenced to 9 mths in jail for sexually assaulting three female volunteers.— Shelby Thom (@ShelbyThom980) October 18, 2016
The BC Court of Appeal granted the new trial, because of the judge’s conduct, which it described as “prejudice” and “unfair.”
“I mean we are frustrated and we are angry, and this is annoying that we have to go back… We have to keep in mind that this retrial has not been granted based on the evidence, the evidence is still held up, this is based solely on the conduct of the judge, and that is solely why we are going to a retrial.”
The accused lawyer says the former fire chief spent a few weeks in jail before he was granted bail pending appeal.
He has now been granted bail pending the new trial.