Two Manitoba sheriff's officers at the centre of a high-profile civil court case face criminal charges for allegedly drugging and sexually assaulting a 30-year-old woman.
Richard Gordon, 45, and Jackie Burgoyne, 34, were arrested Wednesday following a police investigation that began with a complaint in May. They have been released on promises to appear in court on Jan. 8. Both are charged with sexual assault, and Gordon faces an additional count of administering a noxious substance.
The allegations have not been proven and both accused are presumed innocent.
"It was reported that the victim attended to the residence of a male and female acquaintance. While at the residence, a substance was administered rendering the victim unconscious. When the victim woke up, she discovered that she had been sexually assaulted," Winnipeg police said in a statement Friday afternoon.
The news release came after the Free Press uncovered the case through court documents that show the alleged incident happened April 27-28. A government spokesman declined to comment on the two sheriff's officers' job status.
Gordon and Burgoyne have been involved in a six-year legal wrangle with an amateur Winnipeg porn star. It made headlines across the country. The dispute was to go to trial in 2010, but it didn't and no new court dates have been set. Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench Justice Brenda Keyser has been appointed to mediate discussions between the parties to see if an out-of-court settlement can be reached.
Gordon and Burgoyne, who have been living common-law for several years, were suspended without pay in December 2006 after justice officials learned of a racy online video that showed them in consensual sex acts with a woman named Oshean de St. Claire de Guise.
Her website showed an explicit, 45-second clip of the video and encouraged visitors to purchase a membership to see the entire 40-minute romp. The website contained several other videos, and it promises: "No paid actors and no script... this is REAL reality porn."
The couple got their jobs back in early 2007 and filed a lawsuit, claiming they didn't knowingly consent to having the video become public. They met Oshean and her husband, Johannes, in a Winnipeg bar during Grey Cup week in November 2006 and said they agreed to be filmed "privately" for their own viewing pleasure.
Lawyers representing Oshean and Johannes fired back, saying the sheriffs knew exactly what they were getting into and don't have a legal leg to stand on in trying to quash the video they have dubbed The Grey Cup Blond. They have also produced signed consent forms in which the sheriffs agreed to "participate in adult photo/video production for commercial purposes."
A judge ordered a temporary injunction in April 2007 that forced Oshean to remove the specific video from her website.
The judge refused to shut down the entire site as the sheriffs had requested. However, the racy video remains in legal limbo and could be re-posted and distributed for sale if Oshean and her husband get a favourable ruling.