Ottawa Police Superintendent Mark Patterson has been charged with sexual assault and breach of trust, say Ottawa police. The charges follow an investigation by the Ontario Provincial Police, which was called in to investigate back in June 2022.
The charges follow allegations that Patterson recruited, groomed, and sexually assaulted at least one police officer between 2018 and 2022. He was suspended in July 2022 after the allegations were first made and will remain suspended indefinitely.
As previously reported by CBC, Patterson was the superintendent of the intelligence directorate at the time of his suspension.
If convicted, Patterson could face a jail sentence and permanent removal from the police force. As noted by Justice Hill in R. v. Cook, “police officers […] occupy a special position of trust in the community,” and “breach of a position of trust is a deemed aggravating factor in sentencing.” This is because “police officers have opportunities, practically on a daily basis, to cross the line and engage in prohibited conduct. The public trusts them to resist the temptation and relies upon the courts to deal firmly with those who stray.”
As explained in our guide to Physical and Sexual Abuse, those people Patterson allegedly sexually assaulted can also elect to file a civil suit and claim monetary against him and those who facilitated his actions.
If you or a loved one have been hurt or sexually assaulted by Mark Patterson or are a victim of sexual assault in Ontario, please call us. We can help.