Five years after a Kelowna RCMP officer was accused of sending inappropriate messages to the victim of a brutal assault they were investigating, Crown counsel has laid charges.
Const. Sean Eckland is facing two counts of obstructing justice, the B.C. Prosecution Service announced Thursday (March 10). These charges stem from a 2018 investigation into Lake Country man Lonnie Noel Smith, now 44, who was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison after pleading guilty in the assault of a woman.
On April 21, 2018, an intoxicated Smith began a brutal assault on the woman that lasted the course of two days, leaving her with several lasting injuries, the court heard during his trial.
At the time of sentencing, Crown stated it likely would’ve sought a harsher sentence if it weren’t for external complications, which centres around allegations that Eckland had sent sexually explicit text messages to the victim while investigating the case.
Eckland, was suspended with pay in 2019.
Staff Sgt. Janelle Shoihet confirmed, Const.Eckland remains suspended with pay and his duty status is subject to continuous review and assessment. The code of conduct process remains on-going.