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Winnipeg officer found dead hours after being charged with child-pornography crimes

A longtime Winnipeg police constable has been found dead after being charged in a Manitoba RCMP investigation into child-abuse images.

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A longtime Winnipeg police constable has been found dead after being charged in a Manitoba RCMP investigation into child-abuse images.

Yvan Corriveau, a 39-year-old Canadian Forces veteran and Shriner, was arrested Thursday when RCMP officers raided a home in Ile des Chênes, just south of Winnipeg.

The 15-year veteran was charged with child pornography offences, including possessing, accessing and making material available, the RCMP said in a news release.

Corriveau, who was released from custody Thursday evening, was also charged with making written child pornography.

Yvan Corriveau, seen here in a Legion military service recognition book, was charged with child pornography offences, including possessing, accessing and making material available, the RCMP said in a news release.

None of the allegations has been proven in court.

The Winnipeg Police Service learned of Corriveau’s death Friday morning, spokeswoman Const. Dani McKinnon wrote in an email.

His death is not considered criminal in nature, she said.

The RCMP’s internet child exploitation unit began an investigation after receiving several complaints from the National Child Exploitation Crime Centre.

The complaints led to Thursday’s search warrant in Ile des Chênes by ICE and the RCMP’s digital forensics services unit.

Winnipeg police became aware of the RCMP investigation and the constable’s arrest Thursday, said McKinnon.

The WPS declined to comment further.

The Independent Investigation Unit of Manitoba has been notified. The IIU investigates serious incidents involving police officers, whether on or off duty.

He was released after agreeing to comply with a lengthy list of conditions, which included requirements he not access the internet, not possess any device capable of recording.

Corriveau appeared before a judicial justice of the peace remotely from RCMP headquarters in Winnipeg.

He was released after agreeing to comply with a lengthy list of conditions, which included requirements he not access the internet, not possess any device capable of recording still or video images and that he have no contact with anyone under 18.

“Are you prepared to follow these conditions?” a justice of the peace asked Corriveau.

“I am, your honour,” he replied.

Police did not comment on whether Corriveau was placed on leave.

A source told the Free Press Corriveau’s service pistol was taken following his arrest, as per WPS policy.

City police staff were informed of Corriveau’s death Friday morning in an email attributed to Chief Danny Smyth.

JESSICA LEE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES

City police staff were informed of Corriveau’s death Friday morning in an email attributed to Chief Danny Smyth.

The email, seen by the Free Press, said Corriveau died at his home outside Winnipeg.

A woman who knew Corriveau was stunned to learn of the charges.

“Oh my God, that’s totally unexpected,” said the woman, who did not want to be identified. “This is just shocking to me.”

She spoke to a reporter before Corriveau’s death was made public.

Sources informed the Free Press of the charges and, later, the constable’s death before the information was publicly released by the RCMP and WPS following inquiries.

Born in Winnipeg, Corriveau joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 2004, according to a military service recognition book published by the Royal Canadian Legion’s Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario Command.

A woman who knew Corriveau was stunned to learn of the charges.

He served in the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry division, receiving his basic training in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., just outside Montreal.

He was stationed in Wainwright, Alta., and CFB Shilo in Manitoba before an eight-month tour of duty in Afghanistan, according to a digital copy of the book, which was published in 2018.

When he returned to Canada, Corriveau joined the Royal Winnipeg Rifles at the Minto Armoury in the city’s West End until his discharge in 2009.

The book identified the former soldier as a Winnipeg police officer and resident of Ile des Chênes, about 15 kilometres south of the city.

Corriveau was the sergeant-at-arms on the executive of Royal Canadian Legion Branch No. 43 (Norwood St. Boniface).

Legion officials in Manitoba and at the national headquarters in Ottawa declined to comment.

Corriveau was also a member of the Khartum Shrine, the Winnipeg-based chapter of the Masonic fraternity Shriners International.

He joined the chapter about a couple years ago, said its potentate, Bill Gilchrist.

Gilchrist and three other Shriners were not aware of the allegations against Corriveau when contacted by the Free Press.

“He wouldn’t be involved with looking after children.”–Bill Gilchrist

Corriveau held the position of second ceremonial master on the chapter’s appointed divan or council.

He was not an elected executive and did not make decisions for the Shrine, a fellow member said.

Corriveau was also vice-president of the Shrine’s drifters unit, whose members ride drift tricycles in parades, according to the chapter’s website.

Three Shriners said protocol is in place to ensure members are not alone with kids at events or when child patients are transported to Shrine hospitals such as the one in Montreal.

A parent or guardian of the child must be present.

Corriveau was not involved in the Khartum Shrine’s patient transportation fund, a registered charity, or the actual transportation of children and their parents or guardians to hospitals, the members said.

“He wouldn’t be involved with looking after children,” said Gilchrist.

— With files from Dean Pritchard

chris.kitching@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @chriskitching

Chris Kitching
Reporter

As a general assignment reporter, Chris covers a little bit of everything for the Free Press.

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