Former RCMP spokesperson Tim Shields. (File photo)

UPDATE: Ex-RCMP officer Tim Shields’ trial hears from alleged victim

Complainant at former Mountie’s sex assault trial was ‘taken aback’ when she was told to report to him

The complainant in Tim Shields’ sexual-assault trial testified in court Thursday morning that she began attending his weekly strategic communication meetings in spring of 2009.

The woman – who cannot be identified – is a former civilian employee at the RCMP who worked with Shields when he was in charge of the strategic communication division of RCMP E Division.

Shields is on trial for one count of sexual assault at provincial court in Vancouver. He has pleaded not guilty to the charge, which stems from a 2009-2010 investigation into misconduct at the RCMP.

READ: Former RCMP Insp. Tim Shields charged with sexual assault

As the complainant spoke, the former RCMP spokesperson listened closely and took careful notes.

In opening statements last week, Crown counsel Michelle Booker said the trial concerns an alleged sexual assault that took place in a locked washroom during the fall of 2009. Booker characterized the case as “about a woman who was sexually assaulted at work by one of her supervisors.”

READ: First witness takes stand at former Mountie Tim Shields’ sex-assault trial

According to the complainant, she first met Shields when he became officer in charge of the strategic communications branch, either in late-2008 or early-2009. She explained to the court that she was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder in fall of 2013, and thus had trouble concentrating and communicating clearly.

The complainant described to Booker her position at the RCMP. At the time of her hiring in February 2008, she had been placed within the Green Timbers relocation project. That project involved consolidating RCMP offices throughout the Lower Mainland to one building in Surrey, the complainant said.

Her direct reporting line, she said, was to Supt. Wayne Sutherland, who was in the corporate management department and in charge of the relocation project, and who took the stand two days earlier.

READ: Former supervisor testifies to character of complainant in Shields’ sex assault trial

The complainant said she also reported directly to Robert Jorssen, head of corporate management at E Division.

The complainant testified that at a strategic communications conference in Chilliwack in spring of 2009, Shields had told her she had an “indirect reporting” line to him. The complainant said she was “taken aback” by Shields’ comment and that she felt she had been “ignoring one of my leaders.”

In the months following the conference, the complainant and Shields emailed back and forth. Those emails, read out in court, included Shields telling the complainant that he enjoyed getting to know her and, referencing an in-person conversation, told her “don’t forget to bring your smile… and that one piece of artwork…”

In later emails, Shields referred to the complainant as a “team member,” and in a 2009 employee assessment, called her a “hard working member of strategic communications team.”

In that same assessment, the complainant thanked Shields, Sutherland and Jorssen for their leadership. Asked by the Crown as to what the complainant meant when she referred to the three men as leaders, she answered simply “the people I report to.”

In spring of 2009, the complainant said she began attending Shields’ weekly strategic communications meetings, requiring her to drive from her Downtown Vancouver RCMP office to the former operational RCMP headquarters at 37 Avenue and Heather Street.

Shields’ lawyer David Butcher informed the judge that he did not agree the Crown’s characterization of how regularly the complainant attended communications meetings.

According to the complainant, she also spent four straight days working side-by-side with Shields’ team at RCMP headquarters in the summer of 2009 in order to “get to know the team members” and “learn procedures for working within the unit.”

The trial will resume on Monday at provincial court in Vancouver. It is expected to last for three weeks.

Just Posted

UPDATE: Poor ventilation likely cause of carbon monoxide incident at Delta farm

All 42 patients have been released from hospital, according to Delta Fire

VIDEO: IHIT identifies Langley murder victim

IHIT is now on scene investigating the death.

VIDEO: Abbotsford parents demand action on crime-ridden inn near elementary school

Petition signed by dozens concerned for student safety

Preschooler surprises parents with plan to help the homeless

Dave Rigdon, almost 4, of Abbotsford collects bottles to turn in for cash

Abbotsford Police seeking man who attacked woman from behind

Incident happened on Nov. 4 on Maclure Road

Week in Review — Dec. 9

Take a look back at the stories that made The News this week

Site C decision coming Monday

Premier John Horgan to announce fate of dam project at B.C. legislature

VIDEO: Man frustrated that Vancouver taxi driver won’t take him home to New Westminster

Kuldip Gill says that not being able to get a ride to the suburbs is a constant problem

Legacy of Amanda Todd lives on through B.C. foundation

Todd’s mother Carol stresses the importance of putting the phone down and talking with children

UPDATE: Train hits hydro pole, causes outage near Deltaport

No injuries reported but traffic in and out of Deltaport is blocked

VIDEO: Vancouver Whitecaps acquire star striker Kei Kamara

Kamara has 103 goals and 39 assists in 298 appearances over 11 Major League Soccer seasons

Smartphone pedometers underestimate steps, but valuable health tool: study

UBC researchers found the iPhone underestimated steps by 21.5 per cent

VIDEO: ‘Last Jedi’ premiere kicks off with droids, Daisy Ridley

Latests Star Wars film premiered in style ahead of Dec. 15 theatre debut

Most Read