The province’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU) says though a Toronto police officer humiliated a 25-year-old man during a 2010 strip search, there are no grounds for criminal charges.
The SIU started probing the case in January after Ohene Darteh’s lawyer complained to the Toronto Police Service that Const. Irwin Correa had sexually assaulted her client during an arrest on Sept. 1, 2010.
Darteh had been riding his bike near St. Clair Avenue West and Runnymede Road when Correa, Const. Jason Uher and Const. Shaun Roy waved him down.
Correa accused Darteh of riding in a pedestrian crosswalk, which Darteh denied.
All three officers then got out of their van.
Uher and Roy each held one of Darteh’s arms while Correa asked him if he was armed. And though Darteh said “No,” Correa asked him to lift up his shirt and also pulled down his shorts.
“In essence, Const. Correa with the assistance of two other officers pulled down Mr. Darteh’s shorts and underpants in broad daylight in a public area without his consent, exposing his buttocks and genitals for approximately one minute while the officers laughed at him,” SIU director Ian Scott said in a statement.
“Even though this strip search was a violation of the Charter rights of Mr. Darteh, and breached the provisions of the TPS directive on searches, does it amount to reasonable grounds for believing that a sexual assault occurred? While it would appear that Const. Correa intended to embarrass the complainant by pulling his pants down, I am of the view that his actions, while deplorable, do not amount to an intrusive enough level of violation of Mr. Darteh’s sexual integrity to found a charge of sexual assault.
“Further, there is no suggestion that his genitals were touched by any of them. All in all, I do not have reasonable grounds to believe that the actions of Const. Correa amounted to a sexual assault even though he was actively engaged in humiliating Mr. Darteh. It is up to Toronto Police Service to pursue disciplinary charges against Const. Correa and the other involved officers if it so chooses.”