Alberta Newspaper Group
Eliiott Teed, the disgraced Bow Island Mountie convicted of sexual assault and breach of trust in October 2018, has been sentenced to two months in jail.
Justice Robert Hall delivered his sentencing verdict on Jan. 22 at the Medicine Hat Court of Queen’s Bench.
Tears were shed among Teed’s eight family members in attendance, as they took turns embracing him before he went into custody.
Teed, 34, was found guilty of feeling a woman’s breasts during a highway traffic stop in February 2015.
He wrote her a 24-hour driving suspension for driving while intoxicated on cannabis, but left her in her vehicle with her keys.
After dropping his auxiliary off at home, Teed repeatedly returned to the complainant’s vehicle, propositioning her in exchange for the weed.
The Crown requested three-to-nine months in jail, while defence lawyer Robb Beeman asked for a suspended sentence with “significant conditions.”
Prosecutor Euan Gilmour read the victim impact statement to the court. The complainant cannot be identified due to a publication ban to protect victims of sexual assault.
The victim, who was not present in court, said as a result of her interaction with Teed, she no longer participates in social life, describing feelings of “anxiety and dread.”
She wrote that she wants “to know Elliott Teed will no longer be able to abuse his position of authority.”
A pre-sentence report for Teed was also prepared, with Beeman reading portions of it for Justice Robert Hall’s consideration.
“The impact of the charges and conviction were significant and catastrophic,” said Beeman. “His reputation has been irreparably damaged.”
The lawyer noted the presence of nine people who came to show their support for Teed — his wife, father, mother, aunt, uncle, two cousins and one of his brothers, as well as a priest from Bow Island, who serves as a chaplain for the Bow Island and Redcliff RCMP detachments.
Each wrote a character reference for Teed, in addition to his daughter and other brother, among others who were unable to attend.
“He was a respected member of the community,” said Beeman. “All of that changed in the spring of 2015,” when he discovered he was under investigation and suspended with pay. He was formally charged with one count of sexual assault and two counts of breach of trust in April 2016.
“It’s not entirely clear to me why it took so long for charges to be laid,” Beeman said.
In October 2016, Teed was suspended without pay, which prohibited him from seeking outside employment, as per RCMP policy.
Teed decided to resign from the force in May 2017.
“In doing so, he walked away from his career, his livelihood (and) his pension,” said Beeman. “This charge alone cost him hundreds of thousands of dollars.”
Teed’s arrest was publicized locally and nationally, which the lawyer said was “highly embarrassing” for his client.
“An individual who was once considered a leader in the community … is forever tarnished,” said Beeman.
Putting a police officer in jail for sexual assault would put them in danger, he added.
“A conditional sentence can serve the purpose of denunciation and deterrence,” Beeman argued.
In his argument, Gilmour acknowledges the crime was “a sexual assault of a minor nature,” but is aggravated by Teed’s position of authority and the assault’s impact on the victim.
As a mitigating factor, Beeman cited the fact the “assault was not a calculated attack,” but was committed “spontaneously” during an arrest.
Teed suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety from his work as an officer, for which he sought treatment of his own accord, Beeman added.
The lawyer also cited Teed’s young family, whom he argued going to jail would impede his ability to support and lack of a prior criminal record.
“This was an isolated act,” Beeman said.