Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Winnipeg cop charged with sex assaults, extortion, harassment

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A Winnipeg police officer has been accused of abusing his position by trying to coerce several young women into having sex with him.

Const. Remi Van Den Driessche, 39, was arrested this week for sexual assault, breach of trust, extortion and criminal harassment. He has been released on a promise to appear in court and placed on administrative leave.

Police have refused to provide additional details, only to say they involve "on and off duty conduct" that has been the subject of a lengthy investigation.

But court documents obtained by the Free Press reveal details on 13 criminal charges which police announced Tuesday. They involve five different women who were allegedly targeted between November 2011 and September 2013.

According to court documents, the most serious charge involves an allegation that Van Den Driessche "repeatedly" sexually assaulted one victim over a 22-month span and committed a breach of trust for "using his position as a police officer to attempt to gain sexual favours" from the same woman. He is also charged with harassing her.

Van Den Driessche is accused of trying to convince two other women to have sex through similar breaches of trust, and there are criminal harassment charges involving the final two complainants.

Van Den Driessche is an eight-year member with the Winnipeg Police Service. An investigation began in June 2013 by members of the professional standards unit and included consultation with senior justice officials.

None of the allegations has been proven and he is presumed innocent.


Updated on Tuesday, March 25, 2014 at 4:06 PM CDT: Adds more details.

11:34 PM: Fixes typo.

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