A North Delta woman is suing the municipality, the Delta Police Department (DPD) and a police officer, alleging his “predatory” behaviour in beginning an extra-marital affair with her after responding to a domestic dispute at her house.
According to the civil claim filed with the Supreme Court of British Columbia on Aug. 7, Tori Jones called police to her home in the 11800-block of 85B Avenue on July 26, 2010, following a marital argument with her common-law partner, Josh Van Polanen Petel.
Robert Wesley Johnston, one of the officers who arrived, gave Jones a business card with his name, personal cell phone number, and email address, advising her to seek legal counsel, and seek custody of their two-year-old son.
He further said Jones should call him if she had any further problems with Petel and he would “personally deal with him.”
Shortly after this night, court documents allege a wild affair began at Johnston’s behest, resulting in sexual liaisons while on duty, including one incident at a K9 police station on Annacis Island.
Jones and Johnston began communicating via cell phone and text message two days after the domestic call, and on July 31, he allegedly met Jones in the underground parking lot of the Superstore on Scott Road and 82nd Ave. where he committed sexual assault and battery on her.
Later that same day he met her near the Home Depot store in Surrey and had her follow his police cruiser to a remote location on Faulkner Rd. He then opened his uniform pants and committed a sexual assault and battery on Jones.
Then on Aug. 1, Johnston enlisted the help of Delta police Const. Jason Martens to “stand six” (be a lookout) while he led Jones into the Delta Police K9 office where he again committed a sexual assault and battery.
It’s also alleged Johnston allowed Jones to read confidential police files, including one about a young male who had been killed, but that it was “nothing to be sad about because the deceased was a criminal.”
Johnston then led Jones to work from Annacis Island, reaching speeds of 106.9 km/h across the Alex Fraser Bridge (maximum posted speed is 90 km/h) and up to 122 km/h on the Richmond Connector.
Court documents say Johnston told Martens about the sexual assault and battery later that day.
The next day (Aug. 2), Johnston and Jones met for dinner at Sammy J Peppers in Surrey at 9 p.m., where documents allege Johnston committed a sexual assault on Jones while sitting in the restaurant booth.
Later that night he again committed sexual assault at Jones’ house—Petel was living with his father at this point—and turned off his Mobile Data Terminal in his police cruiser so he wouldn’t be disturbed. They were interrupted by Petel’s stepfather, however, and fearing it could jeopardize his job, Johnston allegedly put his uniform back on and left from the back door of the house.
Six days later (Aug. 8), Johnston took Jones and her two-year-old son to the Denny’s restaurant on the 8600-block of Scott Road. He then took the two to Annieville Park where he committed a sexual assault and battery on Jones, before bringing his police dog from his cruiser and showing Jones and her son its attacking skills on a protective padded sleeve.
The sexual assault allegations continue in the writ details of the court documents, including an iPhone text message that included a semi-nude photographs of Johnston while in uniform. He also shared a naked picture of Jones with a fellow constable.
After this 17-day period, Jones claims she was overwhelmed and distraught by his advances, unable to eat or sleep properly, and solely drank Red Bull, a caffeinated drink.
When Johnston went on vacation late in the summer of 2010, Jones texted him that she didn’t want to see him anymore. He did not respond and she never heard from him again.
After telling Petel about the affair, he filed a complaint with police. Johnston was suspended with pay on Oct. 18, 2010, and later changed to suspension without pay on March 23, 2011.
An outside police investigation found three allegations of corrupt practice, two allegations of discreditable conduct and one allegation of neglect of duty against Johnston had been proven and it was determined that Johnston should be dismissed.
That investigation included a report from Deborah Sinclair, a registered social worker, who wrote that Johnston’s “preoccupation with sex and his predatory behaviour towards women earned him nicknames as ‘the predator’ and ‘Kilo 69.'”
The report says he continued “his relentless pursuit of sexual encounters with women despite the fact he was a senior officer who was married with two sons” and his his well-known propensity for petite, blonde women.
Petel claims he was forced to go on short-term disability from his then-employer due to mental anxiety, stress, and depression, which ultimately led to his dismissal.
Jones is suing Johnston for general, aggravated, exemplary and punitive damages. The Corporation of Delta, the DPD and its chief are also named on the claim.
Police spokesman Const. Ciaran Feenan said the department is respectful of the civil process and can’t comment on the specific allegations.
“What we can speak to is the fact that when those allegations were made the Delta Police Department acted immediately,” he said, adding the DPD is a value-based leadership agency that doesn’t condone that type of activity.
No response has been filed to the civil claim and the allegations contained in the suit have not been proven in court.