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RNC officer Doug Snelgrove likely headed back to trial for sexual assault

RNC Const. Carl Douglas Snelgrove, charged with sexual assault, was back in Newfoundland Supreme Court in St. John’s Thursday to hear the judge instruct jurors in law before they deliberated to reach a verdict.
RNC Const. Carl Douglas Snelgrove took his appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada on Friday morning. It was dismissed, meaning he'll likely face a new sexual assault trial. - Rosie Mullaley

Supreme Court of Canada dismisses appeal

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. —

The Supreme Court of Canada has dismissed an appeal filed by RNC Const. Doug Snelgrove, meaning he will likely face a new sexual assault trial.

Snelgrove, 41, was acquitted in Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court two years ago of sexually assaulting a woman while on duty in December 2014. The Crown appealed his acquittal on the grounds that the trial judge had erred in instructing the jury. Two provincial Appeal Court judges sided with the Crown, while a third disagreed.

Snelgrove took the case to the Supreme Court of Canada, which heard his appeal Friday morning and dismissed it. The court’s reasons have not yet been published.

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.

The police officer pleaded not guilty, saying the sexual contact had been consensual, and he 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.

Snelgrove, who now resides in the Middle East, is still suspended without pay from the RNC but has filed an application in Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court to have a judge review his suspension with the goal of revoking it. His application has not yet been heard.

In his application documents, Snelgrove said he had asked the RNC 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.

“The ongoing suspension without pay continues to cause great hardship for me and my wife,” he wrote.


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