(CBC News) – An RCMP code of conduct hearing is recommending a female officer be reprimanded, docked 7 days pay, and continue counselling, after concluding she had consensual sex with her supervisor.
Const. Susan Gastaldo claimed she was forced into the on-going affair with her boss — which included having sex in a police car — but the tribunal found it was consensual sex.
It ruled a dismissal might have been warranted, but her underlying anxiety was a mitigating factor and deemed Gastaldo “suitable for medical discharge”.
Her superior officer, Staff Sgt. Travis Pearson, has already been reprimanded and docked 10 days’ pay by the same panel after admitting to the affair and using a Blackberry to exchange suggestive emails.
But Gastaldo fought against the accusation and claimed she was coerced and sexually assaulted on more than one occasion.
The panel didn’t believe her and suggested her punishment should be harsher than Pearson’s because she denied the claim.
The board already ruled last December that Gastaldo, who has an anxiety disorder, wasn’t truthful, her claim wasn’t plausible, and she was only making the accusation because her husband found a Blackberry with email messages between her and Pearson.
“The board isn’t convinced that a person who has been sexually assaulted would readily communicate with their assailant,” board chairman John Reid said in his ruling.
Records show the pair spoke for a total of 48 hours over a three month period and exchanged 160 email messages, many of them romantic or sexual in nature.
Gastaldo has also launched a civil lawsuit against Pearson and the RCMP in connection to her case.
RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson announced an investigation late last year into the harassment claims.