Ruling coming on CK police conduct case
A Chatham-Kent police officer who has pleaded guilty to seven counts of discreditable conduct should know his punishment in October.
For almost a year, Constable Andrew Jaconelli has been the subject of a police disciplinary hearing looking into discreditable conduct stemming from sexual assaults and alleged sexual assaults on female co-workers along with other incidents, including one where he threw a dart that stuck to another male officer at a Christmas party in November of 2017.
Jaconelli pleaded guilty to seven of nine counts of discreditable conduct in September last year, but challenged a sexual assault allegation made by a fellow female officer that he kissed her and put his hand up her sundress twice at her house in August of 2018 after he had been drinking. Jaconelli is also accused of pulling her dress down and giving the complainant oral sex and exposing himself before she pushed him out the door.
The disciplinary hearing continued on Tuesday and the hearing officer was told in final submissions made by the prosecution that Jaconelli had no evidence or testimony to contradict the sexual assault complaint. In fact, he didn’t attend the hearing because of a medical issue. CK News Today has learned he is in rehab.
“You’ve got nothing here,” Prosecutor Ian Johnstone told Defence Counsel Lucas O’Hara.
The hearing officer was also told that Jaconelli has not denied nor apologized for the incident and that the complainant, who can’t be identified under a court order, offered him two coolers and kissed him back.
The prosecution noted that Jaconelli had a similar pattern that involved drinking, citing that his silence is a strong admission of guilt.
Jaconelli has other unresolved legal issues as well. He is currently facing criminal harassment charges filed by another woman.
The hearing was also told that the alleged victim has a drug addiction and failed marriages and is currently facing criminal charges of her own, including fraud.
The defence said police officers are not required to present evidence at police disciplinary hearings and there is no obligation for him to prove his innocence, adding that the presented evidence is “untested” and doesn’t meet standards.
“The officer does not have to prove anything,” O’Hara said.
O’Hara also criticized Chatham-Kent police for not interviewing witnesses or Jaconelli. He noted there is no corroboration from the complainant’s brother, who was home when Jaconelli arrived, or her ex-husband, who she called to report the sexual encounter.
The defence said the evidence presented by the female investigative officers is “opinion” because they are not experts and no weight should be given to their judgement, citing evidence was not given under oath and nobody was cross-examined by the defence making it difficult to determine the motive for the complaint and if it was fabricated.
O’Hara also called the alleged victim’s credibility and reliability into question based on her past run-ins with law enforcement and said her testimony had a dozen “major inconsistencies”.
The disciplinary hearing officer is expected to make his ruling on October 25, 26, and 27 at a disposition hearing.
He will have a written decision in about two months to give both parties time to prepare.