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B.C. RCMP officer to plead guilty in case tied to explicit text allegations

Sean Eckland charged after allegedly sending messages to survivor of an assault he was investigating

A Kelowna RCMP officer has announced his intention to enter a guilty for charges relating to the sexually explicit text messages that he allegedly sent to a woman that he was supposed to be helping.

Const. Sean Eckland was charged with attempting to obstruct justice after allegedly sending inappropriate sexual text messages to the survivor of a 2018, domestic assault– for which he was the lead investigator.

Eckland had been communicating with the survivor of the abuse by text throughout the course of the investigation. It is during this time that Eckland allegedly sent the explicit messages.

After a two year investigation into the domestic assault case, Lonnie Noel Smith, entered a guilty plea to charges of aggravated assault and uttering threats. Smith was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison but at time of sentencing the Crown prosecutor noted that harsher sentencing would have been recommended had it not been for “external complications,” namely the inappropriate text messages sent by Eckland to the survivor during the investigation.

The sexual messages were allegedly sent by Eckland on December 10, 2019. Five days later, the RCMP released a statement to the media saying that Eckland had been suspended and that an investigation was ongoing.

READ MORE: Kelowna cop accused of texting assault victim charged with obstructing justice

On March 10, 2022, the BC Prosecution Service announced that criminal charges of obstruction of justice had been approved against Eckland.

The criminal trial for the constable was originally scheduled to begin on Dec. 11, 2023. However, the case has been put over until January 15, 2024, as Eckland has informed the court that he intends to enter a guilty plea.

The RCMP have also conducted a separate internal investigation and a member conduct hearing is scheduled for March 25, 2024.

Eckland remains suspended with pay.

Jacqueline Gelineau

About the Author: Jacqueline Gelineau

I'm a reporter in the beginning stages of my career. I joined the team at Capital News in November 2021...
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