Doug Snelgrove, a police officer from St. John’s, has been found guilty of sexual assault that happened six years ago when he sexually assaulted a young woman while on duty. Snelgrove is a member of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary and this was his third trial on the charge in the last four years.
The jury that read his verdict returned to court three times in the last three days after Justice Vikas Khaladkar asked them to continue their discussion. The victim has waited for the trial to end outside the St. John’s courtroom and when the trial ended, she celebrated, surrounded by her friends and family. She thanked Crown attorney Lloyd Strickland for his role in securing the verdict.
Strickland talked to the press:
“I’m just relieved that there’s been a resolution to the case. We’re relieved that justice has been served. I’m very much in awe of her. Through it all, she remained steady. She remained constant while the system stumbled around her a bit.”
Strickland added that, four years ago, the court didn’t accept the Crown’s argument for abuse of trust. Two years ago the things changed. Snelgrove surrendered his passport and will not be allowed to contact the victim or the witnesses. Snelgrove will likely get jail time as in Canada the maximum sentence for sexual assault is 10 years.
The victim told the jury that she remembers only flashes of the night in question when she was with Snelgrove. She remembers that she had at least five drinks that night and she was kissing Snelgrove who offered her a ride while in a uniform. The victim doesn’t remember why or who initiated it, but she remembers that they had sex, although she can’t remember if she consented. Snelgrove admitted that they had sex, although he stated that the victim initiated it.
He has been suspended without pay from the force since 2015.