Royal Newfoundland Constabulary Doug Snelgrove was convicted of sexual assault.
The decision was announced Saturday afternoon in St. John’s after three days of jury deliberation. Snelgrove bowed his head as Judge Vikas Khaladkar read the verdict.Jane Doe, meanwhile, thanked the prosecutor after the verdict, smiling as she was surrounded by family and supporters.
The Crown requested that Snelgrove be held until sentencing. The defense argued that sentencing could take some time and asked the court to release Snelgrove on bail until a sentencing date is decided.
Khaladkar also asked Snelgrove to turn his passport over to court.
This is breaking news. A previous version of this story is below.
As deliberations continue in the sexual assault trial of a St. John’s police officer on Saturday, the jury is concerned that they may not be able to reach a verdict.
Friday evening, after the second day of confinement, the jury sent a brief note to Judge Vikas Khaladkar. He said, “You can’t make a unanimous decision. Next steps? “
If the jury does not reach a verdict, it could end the trial of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary Const. Doug Snelgrove, and for the complainant who has now testified three times about the alleged assault.
Snelgrove, first arrested in 2015, has been tried three times in the past four years after a young woman accused him of assaulting her while she was intoxicated.
Khaladkar begged the jury to keep trying to get a verdict on Saturday morning, suggesting they look at the evidence and listen to everyone’s concerns.
He also reminded them of their oath to try to reach a verdict, but said that “in some cases, perhaps it is, juries cannot come to a conclusion”.
As the jury continued to try to reach consensus, more than a dozen people arrived at the Supreme Court on Duckworth Street to show solidarity with the plaintiff, known only as Jane Doe.
Similar protests had taken place in the previous two trials, including a large protest at RNC headquarters in 2017.
Questions of consent and doubt
The complainant testified that she was too drunk to remember consenting to sex and that she “only came” to find Snelgrove, a police officer on duty who drove her to her apartment, having sex with her.
The officer testified that the two had consensual sex and the woman appeared sober.
On Friday, the jury asked Judge Khaladkar several questions about the definition of reasonable doubt.
Khaladkar previously said the jury should take it for granted that Snelgrove, as a serving police officer, holds a position of authority over the plaintiff.
The bigger question, he told them, is whether the evidence shows that he abused this position to gain the woman’s trust, and whether those feelings of trust subsequently influenced his decision to have sex. sex with him, when she would not have done it otherwise.
By law, a person cannot consent if they are unconscious, asleep, severely intoxicated to the point of incapacity, or induced to have sex because someone is abusing a position of trust or authority.
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