Preliminary hearing set for RCMP constable

Officer to face two charges of sexual assault while on duty

A five-day preliminary hearing has been set for next May for a Red Deer RCMP officer charged with sexual assaults.

A preliminary hearing is held to determine if there’s enough evidence to warrant an accused be tried in Court of Queen’s Bench.

Const. Jason Tress faces 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 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.

On Wednesday in Red Deer provincial court a defence lawyer elected a Queen’s Bench trial before a judge alone on behalf of Tress should the case proceed to trial.

The preliminary hearing is scheduled to run May 7 to 11, 2018.

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