Neal Hall, Vancouver, B.C. (Vancouver Sun) – A senior Mountie with 22 years service to be sentenced later this month for uttering a forged document has been suspended with pay, police said Thursday.
Ridge Meadows RCMP Cpl. Ryan Schlecker said his colleague, Cpl. Paulo Alexandre Baptista, was suspended with pay in September 2006, when an investigation began into the officer’s conduct.
Baptista, who worked at the Ridge Meadows detachment, was charged on June 27, 2007 with uttering a forged document. He was convicted by a provincial court judge last Sept. 30.
The officer is set to be sentenced Jan. 29 in Abbotsford provincial court.
The crime carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, although the court likely will impose a lesser sentence, perhaps even a suspended sentence.
Baptista was found guilty of producing a forged document to his supervisor to explain why he didn’t show up in court to testify at an impaired driving trial in August 2006.
The trial abruptly ended in the charge being dropped against the accused because without the officer’s testimony the Crown had no case.
When confronted by his superior officer, Baptista said he had been “denotified” and he produced a purported copy of the denotification letter bearing a denotification stamp.
A denotification letter is when the Crown no longer needs an officer to testify — usually because there has been a plea in a case, ending the need for a trial.
Vancouver RCMP media liaison Sgt. Tim Shields confirmed Thursday that no news release was ever issued by the force to announce the charge against Baptista.
He said a new policy was implemented last August for the RCMP to issue a news release once a member has been charged.