Case of RCMP officer charged with sexual assault in court

Red Deer Const. Jason Tress faces two counts of sexual assault and two counts of breach of trust.

A Red Deer RCMP officer charged with sexual assault will appear to hear his charges at his next court date.

Const. Jason Tress was not in Red Deer provincial court on Wednesday when his case came before Judge Gordon Deck. A lawyer, acting as agent for Tress’s Edmonton lawyer Robb Beeman, appeared and had the case adjourned to June 19.

Deck ordered Tress, 30, to appear in person on that date so the charges can be read to him.

Tress is facing two counts of sexual assault and two counts of breach of trust arising out of incidents involving three women in 2012 and 2016.

The charges were laid on March 29 after the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) was directed last July by the Director of Law Enforcement to investigate an allegation that an RCMP officer sexually assaulted a woman in 2016 at the Red Deer detachment.

It is alleged two of the three incidents occurred while the officer was on duty.

That allegation led to further investigation and other charges.

Two of the alleged incidents occurred while the officer was posted in Red Deer. He was at a rural detachment when the alleged 2012 incident occurred.

Tress, an eight-year officer, was suspended with pay in August 2016 as a result of the initial allegations, said RCMP Chief Supt. George Stephenson on the day the charges were announced.

He will remain off duty until the internal processes and all criminal charges against him are resolved, says the RCMP.

A special Crown prosecutor has been appointed to handle the case.

ASIRT expects to have disclosure — the evidence that supports the charges — ready by May 24, the court heard.

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com

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