Judge finds former RCMP officer guilty of sexual assault
Published Tuesday, August 8, 2017 10:14AM CST Last Updated Tuesday, August 8, 2017 5:29PM CST
A former RCMP officer who worked more than 25 years with the force has been convicted of sexually assaulting a nine-year-old girl three years ago.
On Tuesday, provincial court judge Lindy Choy told the court in Ashern she believed beyond a reasonable doubt that Robert Dowd inappropriately touched the girl at a campfire gathering on Sept. 26, 2014.
"Not only do I disbelieve his explanations, I believe his evidence to be contrived," said Judge Choy.
Robert Dowd, who was off duty at the time and is no longer with the RCMP, had previously pleaded not guilty to sexual assault and sexual interference.
During the trial, the girl--who's now 12-years-old--testified Dowd wanted to leave a campfire gathering to go look for a satellite in the sky. She said when the two were alone, he inappropriately touched her.
Dowd denied these allegations in his testimony, and initially told police he was never alone with the girl. The judge said Dowd testified he took the girl to show her where the bathroom was, and collected firewood.
"It's suspicious he never offers this explanation when speaking with police," Judge Choy said.
"I do not believe his denial. That he was not alone with the complainant and he did not touch the complainant inappropriately," the judge said.
For the girl's father, the verdict is a relief.
"I feel very happy today with the outcome that was given by the judge," he said outside court. "It's been a rough three years. Finally seeing some light at the end of the tunnel."
Another family member said they're very proud of the girl for testifying.
"Kudos to her. She didn't run and hide. She came forward and told us everything. There's justice for her," the family member said.
Dowd's lawyer Bruce Bonney did not want to comment after the decision.
Sentencing is scheduled to take place this fall.