Hearing starts for B.C. Mounties, guard charged in jail-sex case

KAMLOOPS, B.C. – A seven-day preliminary hearing is underway in a Kamloops, B.C., courtroom for three RCMP officers and a jail guard who are accused of watching two women having sex in a jail cell.

Cpl. Kenneth Brown and constables Evan Elgee and Stephen Zaharia are each charged with one count of breach of trust by a public officer in connection with the August 2010 incident.

Jail guard David Tompkins faces a similar allegation.

The Crown alleges the four did not act when cell surveillance cameras at the Kamloops jail showed two drunken women engaging in a sex act.

Instead of intervening, the men are accused of calling their colleagues to witness the activity, even though the women were so intoxicated they were unlikely to be able to consent to sex, and one had already told arresting officers she was HIV positive.

The RCMP officers remain suspended, pending the outcome of the preliminary hearing, and any possible trial.