A former Manitoba RCMP officer has lost an appeal of his conviction and sentence for sexual assault and sexual interference.

A judge found Robert Dowd guilty of inappropriately touching a 9-year-old girl in September 2014 while he was off duty during an evening gathering at a Manitoba campground.

Dowd was sentenced in February 2018 to one year in custody.

Justice David Kroft dismissed Dowd's appeal Thursday morning in a Winnipeg courtroom.

Dowd was taken back into custody following the decision.

He was found guilty following a four-day trial that took place in Ashern, Man. in July and August 2017.

Dowd denied the allegations in his testimony.

He appealed his conviction and sentence on four grounds: that the trial judge misapprehended evidence, the trial judge erred in law, the girl’s evidence was tainted by her father and that the current sentence be substituted with one in the three-to-six-month range, arguing the complainant’s age not be considered an aggravating factor because it’s already built in to the offence by way of a minimum sentence.

Kroft dismissed all four grounds of appeal.

“I disagree with the sentence submission and find it was within the trial judge’s discretion to consider the complainant’s age as an aggravating factor,” Kroft told court. “In my opinion the sentence imposed on Mr. Dowd falls within the acceptable range of sentences for the offences of which he was convicted and for an offender in Mr. Dowd’s position.

“Overall I conclude that both Mr. Dowd’s conviction and sentencing appeals are dismissed in their entirety.” 

The girl’s mom said outside court after Kroft’s decision: “It’s been five years of absolute hell for her, for us.”

Outside court Dowd’s wife Barb Ashby said in a statement her husband plans to fight for another appeal.

“We know that nothing happened,” said part of a written statement provided by Ashby. “We need to get this case back to trial to figure out the misunderstanding.”

Dowd’s lawyer Sarah Inness declined to comment.