A Maple Ridge Mountie accused of sexual misconduct will be returning to work following an five-year battle with RCMP.
Const. James Douglas MacLeod, who worked in the Lower Mainland with a RCMP federal unit, was suspended with pay in December 2005, when the allegations first surfaced.
A woman alleged she was drugged and sexually assaulted by MacLeod and a local realtor at a Super Bowl party.
MacLeod and the realtor were eventually charged with sexual assault, but those charges were stayed in 2007 due to a lack of evidence.
In 2008, a RCMP adjudication board determined MacLeod’s conduct was disgraceful and ordered him to resign or be dismissed within 14 days.
He appealed to the RCMP’s external review committee, an independent civilian body, and the board’s findings were overturned.
The committee advised RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson to overturn the adjudication board’s finding and reinstate the Mountie.
Paulson refused and upheld the original ruling for MacLeod to resign or be fired.
MacLeod complied by resigning, but appealed to the Federal Court for a judicial review.
In a ruling, Justice Danièle Tremblay-Lamer reversed Paulson’s order and upheld the review committee’s findings to allow the constable to return to work.
She found the commissioner failed to consider the evidence suggesting that the complainant also exhibited consent to the sexual activity through her conduct.
“The complainant’s behaviour in this regard seems to support the applicant’s position that he had an honest, but mistaken belief in consent,” Tremblay-Lamer wrote in the decision.
RCMP confirmed MacLeod is currently filling out the necessary paper work for a posting.