Toronto police officer admits to inappropriate sexual relationship with youth group member
Const. Kevin Ward pleaded guilty at a police disciplinary tribunal to carrying on a sexual relationship with a participant of the 22 Division Rovers, who range in age from 18-26.
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A Toronto police officer publicly admitted Thursday to having an inappropriate sexual relationship with a youth group participant.
Discipline charges against Const. Kevin Ward stemmed from his role with the 22 Division Rovers, a program offered by the Toronto Police Service, Humber College and Scouts Canada. Participants are between 18 and 26 years old.
A founding member of the Rovers, Ward pleaded guilty to carrying on a sexual relationship with a participant referred to in police documents as “CH.”
According to an agreed statement of facts, Ward entered CH’s tent during a Rovers outing in 2016. After another female participant, referred to as “LQ,” said she needed to change, Ward “turned his back to her” and stayed in the tent as she "changed under the cover of her sleeping bag." He then slept in the tent with the women.
His contact with CH, specifically, escalated to a sexual relationship. The notice of hearing describes it as lasting from September 2016 to January 2017.
Ward also pleaded guilty to showing CH videos of police activities captured on his phone. The tribunal heard Ward also showed videos to other Rovers participants.
Defence and prosecution agreed Ward should forfeit pay for 13 days as penalty for the relationship and a concurrent five days for the video offence. The officer hearing the case has not issued a decision on the penalty.
Ward told the tribunal that he regretted bringing “negative attention” to the force and the Scouts and said he was focusing on his family.
“I can assure you that I won’t be back here," he said at Thursday’s hearing.
Service prosecutor Insp. Domenic Sinopoli emphasized the relationship was consensual but highlighted “an obvious power imbalance."
“To me, this is a case of trust, professionalism and moral integrity,” he said.
Defence lawyer Gary Clewley highlighted the officer’s positive work history at the tribunal and said Ward is barred from the Rovers and Scouts. Clewley said Ward would apologize in writing to CH and LQ.
Another charge, describing Ward’s alleged “inappropriate behaviour” during Rovers outings, was withdrawn at Sinopoli’s request.
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