A third woman has filed a civil lawsuit naming a former Cowichan and Kelowna RCMP officer of sexual harassment.
This third suit was filed Monday, Jan. 20 in Penticton court, and names former RCMP officer Brian Mathew Burkett, the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, and the Attorney General of Canada. It describes events between a woman from the Cowichan Valley and Burkett, then a member of the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP detachment.
Burkett is also being sued by two other women for sexual harassment for incidents when he worked as a Mountie in Kelowna. He left the RCMP in August 2017 after a woman filed a claim that he’d demanded nude photos from her.
He is also criminally accused of seven counts of breach of trust for incidents alleged to have occurred between October 2015 and August 2016. He is scheduled to have an arraignment hearing to enter a plea to those charges on Jan. 27.
The plaintiff in the Cowichan Valley case said it started on Oct. 17, 2012, when she was run off the road by an agressive driver, and called 911 to report the incident. In that report she provided personal details including her home address and cell number.
After speaking to 911, she got a text from an RCMP member asking her to go in to the detachment in Duncan. There, she met Burkett, who recorded her statement. According to the statement of claim, the harassment began immediately during that first meeting, with Burkett commenting “inappropriately and suggestively about the plaintiff’s appearance and body piercings”.
The statement of claim says that when she left the detachment, she was almost immediately sent more than 15 inappropriate and suggestive sexual messages by Burkett. “In addition, Burkett acted obsessively and agressively via text in his pursuit of the plaintiff.”
The plaintiff says she was vulnerable at the time, and has sustained lasting harm including diminished ability to concentrate, anxiety, difficulty coping with emotional stress, anxiety around her personal safety, in her home and in public, nervous shock and emotional anguish.
She is seeking unspecified damages.
None of the allegations in the claim have been proven in court, and none of the plaintiffs have filed a response to the claim.