A Kelowna RCMP officer demanded explicit photos from a female citizen that contacted the detachment’s non-emergency line seeking help, alleges a civil lawsuit filed this week.
The lawsuit provides details of the allegations levelled at Brian Mathew Burkett, who was charged in July with multiple counts of breach of trust for incidents that are alleged to have occurred while he was a Kelowna Mountie in 2015 and 2016. The criminal charges allege Burkett pursued a sexual relationship with seven women in connection to his duties as a police officer.
One of the alleged victims, whose name is covered under a publication ban, has now filed a civil lawsuit naming Burkett, the B.C. Minister of Justice and Canada’s Attorney General.
The lawsuit claims the woman called the Kelowna RCMP’s non-emergency line in May 2016 seeking help. Burkett took the call and gathered private details including her address and cell phone number.
“Burkett used the personal information to harass her sexually by repeatedly texting and requesting the plaintiff send him explicit pictures of her breasts and genitalia,” the claim states.
Burkett warned the plaintiff to not tell anyone about the request, the lawsuit continued, leading the alleged victim to send the officer a Facebook photo.
“Burkett became annoyed and began insisting that the plaintiff send him sexually explicit photos,” the claim continues.
The lawsuit goes on to allege the woman was later subjected to “inappropriate interrogation by colleagues of Burkett.”
The woman claims she has come away from the ordeal with post traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, failed relationships and more. The lawsuit seeks a variety of damages, recovery of health care costs and loss of earnings.
“The actions of Burkett, the RCMP were reckless, arrogant, high-handed and abusive and showed a callous disregard for the plaintiff’s rights,” the claim says. “Burkett and the RCMP have engaged in conduct that is reprehensible and deserves punishment.”
While the lawsuit names just one woman as a plaintiff, the criminal case against Burkett alleges there are at least six more victims.
Burkett quit the RCMP in August 2017, after he had been suspended with pay in light of the allegations.
Burkett and the provincial and federal governments have not yet filed a response. None of the above allegations have been proven in court. Burkett makes his next court appearance Oct. 28.