First Day of Trial for London Police Officer

Almost two years after he was arrested amid allegations of sexual assault, London Police Constable Andrew Michalski appeared at his first day of trial on Monday.

Michalski, an 11-year veteran of the Service at the time of his arrest in June 2012, is accused of sexually assaulting two women on three different occasions.

The first woman alleges that she was sexaully assaulted by the 33-year-old in June and November of 2011, while the other says she was assaulted in June 2012. Police have said that both the women knew Michalski when they were allegedly assaulted.

Michalski was removed from active duty after his arrest.

The first day, of what’s expected to be a four-day trial for Michalski, was taken up with an application from his lawyer to deal with the allegations from the two women in separate trials.

Lawyer Glen Donald argued the only thing connecting the two cases is the fact that the women, who did not know each other, met to talk about their complaints against Michalski before going to police with the allegations.

Donald argued his client has the right to decide on each allegation whether he wants to testify on his own behalf. If the trial was combined, he explained, Michalski could be cross examined on one of the counts that he wished not to address before the court. In Canada, defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty, and are not required to testify on their own behalf.

Justice Steven Rogin –who was brought in from Windsor, because Michalski is a London police officer– agreed with the defence and approved a severing of the charges into two trials.

The trial will resume tomorrow, as lawyers deal with some in-camera issues.