Welcome to my Crime and Justice blog! I am a 19 year old criminal justice student at the University of Winnipeg. I advocate for prisoners' rights, human rights, equality and criminal justice/prison system reforms.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

RCMP officer found not guilty in harassment case

SELKIRK -- A Manitoba RCMP officer has been found not guilty of criminal harassment against his ex-girlfriend, a provincial Crown attorney.
Cpl. Jeff Moyse learned his fate Thursday morning following a week-long trial earlier this month.
Provincial court Judge Christine Harapiak said there was no evidence to suggest Debbie Buors was ever fearful of Moyse, which is required to prove the charge of harassment.
Buors previously testified Moyse wouldn't accept the end of their eight-month relationship in December 2008 and flooded her with hundreds of unwanted phone calls, emails and text messages. Many of the communications were read in court, including the transcript of two obscenity-filled phone messages he allegedly left for Buors two days after her father died suddenly.
Buors' friend, prosecutor Lisa Carson, said she transcribed the calls verbatim and found them threatening. Moyse claims he has "no memory" of making the calls, which were not permanently recorded.
In a text message, Moyse allegedly told Buors she had pushed him as far as she could and "I hope you get everything you deserve." In another, Moyse is accused of telling Buors "Careful how you treat me. Think hard about what I know. Watch your tone." He also tells Buors to "quit hiding in your cyberworld. Just wait until we meet face to face."
Special prosecutor Ryan Rolston argued Moyse was trying to frighten and intimidate Buors, who finally sent an email on March 11 saying she was putting Moyse "on notice" she would seek a restraining order and/or criminal charges if he had any contact with her.
But defence lawyer Gene Zazelenchuk noted Buors appeared at the Powerview RCMP detachment on March 12 to interview two victims of crime. Moyse initially refused to let her in the building, causing a big scene.
Zazelenchuk claims Buors was "baiting the bear" and would frequently send "mixed messages" to Moyse by contacting him days after claiming she didn't want to speak with him again.
Moyse testified in his own defence and accused Buors of trying to goad him into a confrontation. Moyse said he believes Buors was trying to "set up something physical" so she could build a criminal case against him.

Mountie not guilty
Woman didn't fear for her safety, Judge rules

SELKIRK — A judge has acquitted an RCMP corporal of criminally harassing his ex-girlfriend, a Winnipeg Crown attorney, saying she was not satisfied the woman feared for her safety.
But Judge Christine Harapiak had some critical words for both Jeff Moyse and Debbie Buors and how they handled their bitter breakup.
“It is not unusual ... to date someone you meet at work,” Harapiak said. “Any breakdown in the relationship must be managed with a high degree of personal discretion and care; even more so when the parties are primary actors in the criminal justice system. That care does not seem to have been taken here.”
Moyse, 40, smiled and hugged his lawyer following Harapiak’s ruling.
Harapiak said Moyse’s actions were at times mean and childish — including a vitriolic, curse-filled voicemail delivered days after the death of Buors’ father — but not criminal.
“People occasionally behave badly when relationships break down,” Harapiak said. “I am of the view that Mr. Moyse behaved very badly and created unnecessary stress for Ms. Buors at a very difficult point in her life. I am not convinced a criminal offence has occurred, however.”
Court heard Buors lost both of her parents within a year of each other and was having serious family problems during her relationship with Moyse.
Earlier this month, Buors testified she tried several times to break off her nine-month romance with Moyse, only to have him bombard her with unwanted — and often angry — phone calls, e-mails and text messages. During one 24-hour period, Moyse called or texted Buors 70 times.
Harapiak said Buors showed no signs of fearing Moyse, a key component for criminal harassment.
In March 2009, Buors threatened Moyse with a restraining order and then visited his workplace the next day to interview trial witnesses. Moyse tried to bar Buors from entering the Powerview detachment office in March 2009, resulting in an angry confrontation.
Harapiak said she was satisfied, on this occasion, it was Moyse who feared Buors, not the other way around.
“He appears to have been overwhelmed, unsure what next steps to take,” she said. “I find it was Buors who was angry on this occasion and Moyse who was fearful.”

I completely agree with the verdict. There was not enough evidence to convict and no evidence that she was fearful, beyond a reasonable doubt. There was also too much of "he said, she said" type of evidence, which is why it is very hard to convict someone in these types of cases. Good job Judge! 

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