Reprehensible Toronto cops acquitted of sexual assault should be thrown off force: DiManno
The three police officers found not guilty of sexual assault this week can never again possibly be trusted to do the job.
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Liars. Sots. Creeps.
Swinging dicks who took free drinks and free food — comped to the badge.
Palsy-walsy with strip club bouncers and barkeeps.
Puking in the bathroom, on the street, in a hotel lobby.
A disgrace to the uniform they weren’t wearing.
Oh, but not rapists. Acquitted of sexual assault, the lot of them, because guilt was not proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
They. Must. Go.
Leslie Nyznik, Sameer Kara, Joshua Cabero: Police officers who can never again possibly be trusted to do a job that demands integrity and reputability and basic decency.
How can they possibly work alongside female colleagues after the brass-balls hokum they pulled on a waitress at the Brass Rail, pretending to be with a porno film crew from Miami? How can they possibly respond to potential vice crimes when their own off-duty behaviour was so execrable? How can they possibly investigate a sex assault complaint?
Hey, now that we’re done with this broad — the parking officer colleague who testified she hadn’t consented to sex with them in a hotel room in the early morning hours of Jan. 17, 2015 — should we call a hooker?
No, they’re not rapists. Criminal trials demand a high standard of proof. But they are reprehensible human beings who shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near a vulnerable, traumatized victim — regardless of the offence committed — or exercise their deeply flawed judgment at a crime scene.
I wouldn’t trust them as far I could throw them. Which is what Police Chief Mark Saunders should do — throw them off the force. Or go down trying, amidst a group of defence lawyers who make a specialized well-heeled career out of springing bad cops.
It is unclear what Saunders will do with these pathetic little men, only one of whom — Nyznik — took the stand at trial, point-cop just as he was on Rookie Buy Night. And isn’t that a fine tradition, introducing the newbie to perks of the law enforcement trade, like bar managers who will offer up a drink even though the joint isn’t open and entree to the special-special vodka fridge elite level of service.
The three 51 Division officers have been suspended with pay since across-the-board sex assault charge were laid in February, 2015. There would likely be legal hurdles to overcome but Saunders can still have them all charged with discreditable conduct under the Police Act. If so, it would be interesting to see if the police union would pay for their lawyers, which they didn’t do at the criminal trial because the alleged offence occurred off-duty.
If Saunders wants to be viewed as a police chief of substance — and thus far he hasn’t scored high marks — he absolutely must take disciplinary comeuppance to its farthest reaches. It is vital he sends a message to the men and women under his command, and the city they police, that, no, no, no, these individuals don’t deserve to wear the uniform. Employment as a police officer is both duty and privilege. None of these men deserve to exercise the authority granted them against you or me or anybody else. Not for the charges they were acquitted of, but for what they did throughout that dissolute night and how they (and their lawyers) spun it afterwards.
Let me quote Molloy, in her verdict rendered Wednesday, on the subject of Nyznik’s stilted testimony, which she characterized as “less than forthright” in places, specifically his contention that the complainant (AB a pseudonym) initiated each and every sex act that took place.
“Some of this simply did not ring true. Further, his description of how the group sex was carried out, particularly with the complainant purportedly servicing all three of them at once with Mr. Nyznik as much as touching her to provide assistance, seems improbable. As the Crown pointed out, AB would have to be some kind of contortionist to accomplish all of that at once.”
Even on the small stuff, Molloy was dubious. For example, when the prosecutor was trying to make the point that AB was a parking enforcement officer but aspired to become a full police office, “Mr. Nyznik refused to agree that there was any hierarchy between police officers and parking enforcement officers. However, later in his evidence, he said that he knew of some police officers who ‘dropped down’ to parking enforcement, clearly a reference to his belief that police officers are higher on the chain. Similarly, he refused to acknowledge the possibility that there would ever be any career repercussions or ‘blacklisting’ if a woman within the force reported she had been sexually assaulted by police officers. I find it hard to be accept this as an honestly held belief.”
Crucially, Molloy said she did not “necessarily believe” Nyznik’s evidence but “making a determination that someone has lied under oath is not an easy task.” In the end she was left with a he-said she-said scenario, so typical of sex assault trials, and a complainant whose testimony was riddled with inconsistencies, contradictions, memory lapses and a narrative often in conflict with the limited objective evidence, such as surveillance video.
“On the sole contentious issue of consent, her evidence stands alone,” Molloy wrote. “In order to convict, I would need to be satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that her evidence was both credible and reliable with respect to the issue of consent. Given the frailties in her evidence, I simply cannot be sure of that important fact to the degree of certainty necessary to make a finding of criminal responsibility.”
But this isn’t about AB anymore, wherever she is now and however she’s managing to pick up the shreds of her life and career.
It’s about an ugly peek inside the lives of these three cops and the blow they’ve dealt to the force’s reputation.
Their continuing presence is intolerable.