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Acquitted of sexual assault, Doug Snelgrove is asking the province’s Supreme Court to revoke his suspension
An RNC officer who was suspended from his job when he was charged with sexual assault wants to get back on the job.
Doug Snelgrove, 41, was acquitted of the charge early last year, but remains suspended without pay from the RNC. He has filed an application in Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court to have a judge review his suspension with the goal of revoking it.
Snelgrove was placed on administrative suspension in July 2015, pending the completion of a public complaints process into an allegation by a 21-year-old woman that Snelgrove sexually assaulted her while he was on duty the previous December. He was also charged with sexual assault.
Snelgrove pleaded not guilty, saying the sexual contact had been consensual, and was acquitted after a trial in Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court, sparking public outrage and protests at RNC headquarters in St. John’s as well as at the court.
The Crown appealed Snelgrove’s acquittal on the grounds the judge had erred in instructing the jury. Two of three appeals court judges agreed the appeal should be allowed, paving the way for a new trial, while the third disagreed.
Snelgrove appealed his case to the Supreme Court of Canada, which has not yet ruled on the matter.
In his application to the court for a review
of his suspension — which names the RNC, the RNC chief and the provincial government — Snelgrove said he had asked the chief on a number of occasions to reinstate him, on the basis that, “I was acquitted at trial of the criminal charge, that I was not a risk to the public or the police force and that my continued suspension without pay severely impairs my ability to support both myself and my wife,” he wrote. “The ongoing suspension without pay continues to cause great hardship for me and my wife.”
In a statement emailed to media soon after Snelgrove’s acquittal, then-RNC chief William Janes said that, following any appeal, the matter would be addressed through the Public Complaints Commission.
“The appropriate discipline under the RNC Act will be determined through that process,” Janes said, adding Snelgrove’s suspension would continue until “the appropriate discipline has been determined.”
“I want to assure the public that we do not tolerate inappropriate and unprofessional behaviour by our officers and take complaints from the public very seriously,” Janes stated.
Snelgrove’s lawyer, John Drover, is scheduled to be back
in court on the matter at the end of January.