A Kelowna RCMP officer charged with obstructing justice for allegedly sexting with a victim in a case he was involved in will face a disciplinary hearing later this year.
Const. Sean Eckland was charged in 2021 with two counts of obstructing justice, stemming from his involvement in a 2018 domestic assault investigation. The matter is set to go to a three-day trial beginning Aug. 28.
The RCMP have also now scheduled a Code of Conduct hearing for Eckland in Kelowna on Nov. 13. Code of Conduct hearings are initiated by the RCMP in cases where the member’s dismissal is being sought.
Section 7.1 of the code is being cited, which says members should not behave in any manner that is likely to discredit the force.
In the case before the criminal courts, the Crown alleges Eckland sent explicit text messages to the victim in a domestic assault case he was investigating. The victim, a woman who was 22 years old at the time, was beaten repeatedly over a 12-hour period by 42-year-old Lonnie Smith in April of 2018 at a home on McCreight Road in Lake Country.
The woman suffered two subdural hematomas (brain bleeds), a head fracture, torn rotator cuff and broken nose and facial bones. She has since permanently lost her sense of taste and smell as a result of the injuries.
The allegations against Eckland first arose in December 2019, resulting in him being suspended with pay.
As a result of the allegations against Eckland, Smith withdrew his guilty pleas in the case in July 2020 with the consent of the Crown. Then, he struck a plea deal with the Crown the following November, and was sentenced to two and a half years.
with files from Nicholas Johansen