CK police officers wait for decision in sexual assault discipline hearing

Andrew Jaconelli. (Photo from Andrew Jaconelli's Linkedin page)

A Chatham-Kent police Constable who is accused of sexually assaulting a fellow female officer will have to wait to hear if her statement about the ordeal will be admitted as evidence in his discipline hearing.

Constable Andrew Jaconelli pleaded not guilty to two counts of discreditable conduct on September 23, 2021 and his Friday Police Services Act hearing heard a claim from the defence that the complainant fabricated the evidence in her statement in order to get time off work. The defence said she made up the story because she had no vacation time left and wanted paid time off. The hearing also heard a claim from the defence that she was hesitant to come forward with the complaint because she couldn’t take unpaid leave, saying she has kids and a house to pay for. The defence also claimed and that her complaint contained no evidence from her brother, who was said to be present the day of the alleged sexual assault at her home in August of 2018 or her ex-husband, who was the first to hear about the assault.

“She only comes forward when she’s in trouble or wants time off work,” the defence claimed. “She didn’t want to come forward because she made it up. The complaint is solely based on hearsay evidence.”

The defence also accused the police service of pressuring her to file a complaint and paid her to come forward, which would be a crime. However, no evidence of that was presented.

The defence questioned why the complainant was not at the hearing to support her case. The hearing heard the complainant has a drug addiction, a history of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and was psychotic when she reported the incident to her ex-husband.

The prosecution countered by saying that the complainant had no reason to fabricate evidence and cited examples of when hearsay evidence has been admissible. The prosecution also reminded the hearing that the complainant’s statement is reliable and credible.

“She has nothing to gain and and everything to lose,” the prosecution said.

They also noted that, just because she has an addiction, doesn’t mean she can’t be the victim of a crime, adding that she has been truthful. The hearing also heard that her therapist didn’t want her to testify because it would be harmful to her current recovery from drug addiction.

A written decision on the admissibility of the complainant’s statement is expected by mid-week but it won’t be made public until the next hearing scheduled for October 22, 2021.