VANCOUVER — A woman who has accused British Columbia’s former RCMP spokesman of sexual assault defended sending him friendly emails after the alleged attack during a heated cross-examination Monday.
David Butcher is representing former inspector Tim Shields in provincial court and he presented the woman with printed copies of emails she sent to his client while she was a civilian RCMP employee.
In various emails, she asked if he had any “magnificent inspiring revelations” while he was on vacation, praised his “beautiful” photography and inquired about his ailing father.
Butcher repeatedly pressed her to explain the tone of the emails. The woman, who cannot be identified, appeared to grow frustrated, at times rolling her eyes and raising her voice.
“I’m suggesting to you that’s a very friendly thing to do … ” Butcher began to say at one point, referring to her email about Shields’s father.
“Friendly is not an invitation to sex,” she interjected. “Friendly is not coming on to someone. In 2017, that there’s even an insinuation like that is beyond me.
“If you choose to interpret them another way, that is your thought process. It has nothing to do with the intent of the email.”
Butcher replied that all the messages were sent “after the fact,” referring to the alleged assault.
“They were all after the fact, yeah, the fact that I wanted to just forget about it and move on with my life,” she said.
Shields has pleaded not guilty to one count of sexual assault.
The woman has previously testified he led her to a washroom in their Vancouver workplace in the fall of 2009, locked the door, touched her breasts and put her hand on his genitals.
Butcher has suggested the woman allowed Shields to lead her into the washroom to participate in sex acts.
In 2011, when Shields was sent to a detachment in Burnaby the woman sent a note to a colleague who was putting together a scrapbook that wished him well.
“You weren’t wishing him any ill at this point, were you?” Butcher asked.
“No,” the woman responded. “Why wouldn’t I write him a nice message? … I’ve sent countless messages to people when they are leaving, transferring and I bet they’re all very similar.”
Shields left the RCMP in December 2015 and was charged the following May.
The woman has told the court she was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder after leaving her civilian job with the RCMP.
— Follow @ellekane on Twitter.
Laura Kane, The Canadian Press
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