Former RCMP spokesperson Tim Shields. (File photo)

Former supervisor testifies to character of complainant in Shields’ sex assault trial

Shields’ trial is expected to last three weeks in provincial court in Vancouver

The woman accusing a former RCMP spokesperson of sexual assault was described by a second Crown witness Tuesday as a good employee.

Tim Shields is charged with one count of sexual assault related to an investigation into sexual misconduct between 2009 and 2010. He has pleaded not guilty to the charge.

According to Crown counsel Michelle Booker, the alleged assault took place in a locked washroom at the old Vancouver RCMP headquarters The complainant – who cannot be named due to a publication ban – was a civilian employee under the supervision of Shields at the time of the alleged incident.

Crown gave their opening statements and questioned their first witness, Sgt. Jeff Wong, on June 7. Wong had been asked to take photos of the alleged assault site as part of the RCMP’s internal investigation in 2015.

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

On Tuesday, Booker questioned Supt. Wayne Sutherland, the complainant’s former supervisor in the corporate management branch, regarding the complainant’s work performance and position within the RCMP organization.

Sutherland testified that the complainant was a “pleasure to supervise,” despite a difficult job reporting to both the strategic communications branch and the corporate management branch of the RCMP.

The complainant was hired in early February 2008, Sutherland said, to assist in communications for was colloquially known as the headquarters relocation project. That refers to the RCMP moving its operational headquarters from the corner of 37 Avenue and Heather Street in Vancouver to 14200 Green Timbers Way in Surrey. The changeover to the new site was officially completed on Dec. 23, 2012.

Booker brought forward a February 2009 employee review regarding the complainant. In it, three of the complainant’s supervisors, Sutherland, Shields and civilian employee Rob Jorssen, gave positive reviews.

Shields’ comments stated that “[the complainant] is a hard working member of the communications team.”

The trial is expected to last for three weeks in provincial court in Vancouver.

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