A former Red Deer RCMP officer convicted of breach of trust was sentenced to house arrest and 100 hours of community service Tuesday.
Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench Justice David Gates gave Jason Andrew Tress, 33, a six-month conditional sentence that was modified to not interfere with his work as an oilfield services company supervisor.
For the first 45 days, Tress will be confined to his home the entire day, except when he is on his 15-day oilpatch shifts. An 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. curfew applies on non-working days following the 45-day period.
Gates found Tress guilty of breach of trust this past September for his actions in the early hours of May 1, 2016, when he and other police officers responded to 911 call of a domestic disturbance.
The judge said he was convinced Tress made suggestive comments to a witness to the domestic incident when alone with her in a bedroom behind a closed door.
During the three-day trial last June, the victim testified he asked her if her breasts were real or not, which “stunned” the 19-year-old woman. Gates said he agreed with the Crown prosecutor’s take that Tress’s actions that night were “vulgar and inappropriate.”
The judge also said Tress tried to cover up his actions by dropping the investigation into the dispute.
No “momentary lapse of judgment” was involved in the crime that was “somewhat predatory in nature,” the judge said. Tress was found not guilty of a charge of sexual assault with a weapon following his trial.
Tress’s failure to admit full responsibility for his crime meant a discharge — which was asked for by the defence and would have left Tress without a criminal record — was not an option, the judge said.
Gates told Tress — who resigned from the RCMP after he was suspended without pay in December 2017 — that he will get over this incident and hoped his life would be better for it. Tress is being treated for post-traumatic stress disorder in connection with a May 2016 shooting and other events.
“I hope, in time, this experience will be recalled as something that led you to turn things around.”
The judge said he was “saddened you’ve lost your dream about being a policeman.
“That’s very sad. We all have dreams.
“Don’t allow your life to be defined by this event,” he said. “Don’t live a life of shame.
“I wish you well, Mr. Tress.”
Before sentencing, Tress took the opportunity to address the judge.
He said he “obviously carries a great deal of shame” for what happened.
“I do respect your decision, the court’s decision, the finding of guilt,” he said.
Tress said that he hoped the victim and her female friend, who was in the apartment at the time and allegedly assaulted, would go to police if needed in the future and “not worry about inappropriate comments and remarks.”
Mounties have given their lives in the line of duty, he said.
What he did is “not how the RCMP should be represented,” he said.
Tress’s wife is also an RCMP officer, based out of Sherwood Park. She is on extended leave and the couple have a four-year-old son.
Last June, Tress was found not guilty of sexual assault and breach of trust in relation to a July 1, 2016 in Red Deer.