A former Kamloops Deputy Sheriff is now facing criminal charges following allegations from the online vigilante group, Creep Hunters.
Creep Hunters, which is operated out of the Okanagan, publicly alleged that deputy sheriff Kevin Johnston attempted to engage in a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl last month.
Now the Criminal Justice Branch of the Ministry of Justice has approved four charges against Johnston relating to alleged incidents that occurred between Aug 8 and Aug. 27, at or near the cities of Kamloops to Kelowna.
“The charges include three counts of communicating with a person believed to be underage for the purpose of facilitating a sexual offence, and one count of invitation to sexual touching,” reads a statement from the Criminal Justice Branch.
On Sept 1, the Kelowna RCMP sought the assistance of the CJB in dealing with an investigation into the online activities of Johnston.
“The Assistant Deputy Attorney General for the CJB, M. Joyce DeWitt-Van Oosten, QC, appointed a Special Prosecutor under s. 7 of the provincial Crown Counsel Act because she considered it in the public interest to do so in light of the fact that at the time of the alleged offences, Mr. Johnston was an employee of the Ministry of Justice and Attorney General,” the statement continues.
The appointment of a Special Prosecutor is intended to avoid any potential for real or perceived improper influence in the administration of criminal justice. Johnston is no longer employed with the B.C. Public Service.
Michael Tammen was appointed a Special Prosecutor on Sept. 2.
Tammen was given a mandate to provide legal advice to the RCMP investigators as may be necessary, conduct any related charge assessment and assume conduct of the prosecution if charges were approved. Tammen is a senior Vancouver lawyer in private practice.
Johnston’s first appearance on the approved charges is set for Oct.20.
As this matter is currently before the Court, neither the CJB nor the Special Prosecutor will be making any further comment.