Former RCMP spokesperson Tim Shields. (File photo)

First witness takes stand at former Mountie Tim Shields’ sex-assault trial

Former RCMP spokesperson pleads not guilty

The trial of former RCMP spokesperson Tim Shields got underway Wednesday in Vancouver Provincial Court.

Shields is charged with one count of sexual assault. He has pleaded not guilty.

In opening arguments Crown counsel Michelle Booker said the trial “is about a woman who was sexually assaulted at work by one of her supervisors.”

“At the time of the alleged assault in 2009, Shields was the acting officer in charge of the strategic communications division,” Booker said.

The charge is a result of an investigation into sexual misconduct between 2009 and 2010. The complainant was a civilian employee with the RCMP who worked with Shields when he was in charge of the strategic communication division of E Division.

Shields – a longtime White Rock resident – was suspended with pay in May 2016 and retired in December.

The trial had been scheduled to start Monday but was delayed.

RELATED: Sex assault trial starts for former B.C. Mountie Tim Shields

The alleged victim’s identity is protected by a publication ban.

According to Booker, the alleged sexual assault took place in a locked bathroom at the former RCMP building, just weeks before a managerial review during the fall of 2009.

Crown’s first witness was Sgt. Jeff Wong, current officer in charge of the Richmond RCMP detachment. Wong was also cross-examined by Shields’ lawyer David Butcher.

Wong had been asked to take photographs inside the old RCMP E Division headquarters at 37 Avenue and Heather Street in May 2015 as part of an internal investigation.

The trial is scheduled for three weeks.

More to come…