A former Vernon RCMP constable was ordered to forfeit 20 days’ pay after the review board released its decision on the nearly decade-old accusations of sexual harassment on Jan. 29, 2020. (File)

Ex-Okanagan Mountie forfeits 20 days’ pay after sexual misconduct review

A former Vernon RCMP constable made sexual comments, grabbed genitals of male officer in two incidents 10 years ago

A former Vernon RCMP officer was ordered to forfeit 20 days’ pay and 10 days’ annual leave after grabbing a male officer’s genitals and making sexual comments in two incidents more than 10 years ago.

According to a 21-page disciplinary report released Jan. 29, 2020, Const. Valerie Little was found to have committed sexual misconduct in two instances in 2009 and 2010. Neither constable work for the Vernon detachment anymore.

The first incident claims Little and the male constable, only referred to as A.F., were observing an interview of a suspect accused of a sexually related offence in a video room for educational and training purposes.

While the suspect was explaining his sexual preferences, Little put her hand on the constable’s thigh and whispered an inappropriate comment along the lines of: “I like to take it from behind,” according to the report.

The second incident occurred Feb. 3, 2010, in a hallway at the Vernon detachment ahead of a broomball tournament — a popular Winter Carnival event.

The report stated Little grabbed A.F.’s genitals and squeezed while saying, “I see you’re not wearing a cup.”

“Const. A. F. was wearing athletic wear including thin polyester shorts at the time you grabbed onto his penis,” the report reads.

It was recommended team players protect themselves by wearing a jockstrap and cup as the game can get “pretty rough,” according to the report.

The male constable “was embarrassed and shocked by your unwanted sexual advance and responded by walking away from you.”

The two officers were regular members of the Vernon RCMP Detachment in 2009 and 2010, albeit Little was a new recruit of the Vernon office.

As she was new to the Vernon RCMP, Little said she would not discuss her sexual preferences with a stranger in a room full of officers, denying the video room allegation. She also denied grabbing the officer’s genitals for one to two seconds over his gym shorts in the hallway incident, according to the report.

“Going to work, standing in the hallway, it seems completely obvious that you don’t expect that to happen,” Const. A.F. testified.

The two met again, unexpectedly, in the spring of 2017. Const. A.F. was on-duty at the detachment in Nanaimo and Const. Little was there to visit someone while she was on maternity leave.

They bumped into each other again while attending medical appointments in the same Nanaimo building on Aug. 2, 2018.

Only after that encounter did Const. A.F. take the video room and hallway incidents forward to RCMP management, which resulted in a Code of Conduct investigation against Little.

Previously, A.F. took his concerns to a now-retired member, but she didn’t take his complaint seriously as she “chuckled” when she was informed of the hallway incident, the report reads.

A.F. didn’t make a formal complaint following the Feb. 3 incident in the hallway as he was sure his colleague, Ms. K.S., would speak to Little.

She had recommended A.F. don’t file a formal complaint at that time, “due to the lack of trust in the direct supervisor and senior management working in Vernon Detachment at the time.”

Following the decision, Little is also ineligible for promotions for two years starting once she is reinstated and for one year, she will work under close supervision.

Const. Little will also not be posted at the same detachment or work location as Const. A.F. for at least three years.

READ MORE: Man found dead on Lake Country trail identified as Hollywood actor

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@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

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