A Trail RCMP officer has been found not guilty of breach of trust in the line of duty.
In Castlegar Provincial Court today, Judge Craig Sicotte cleared Cst. Steven Allen Murchie of misconduct alleged to have occurred between Sept. 6, 2018 and May 19, 2020.
Murchie was accused of pursing a personal relationship with someone he’d met professionally.
The defence, however, argued that Murchie only acted briefly in a professional capacity and there was no criminal offence.
Sicotte ruled that while Murchie seemed to be aware of a possible code of conduct violation, he could not conclude it was a “serious and marked departure” from the standards expected of him.
Sicotte said he was was not able to say whether Murchie’s conduct was “professionally prohibited” or “merely professionally unwise,” but he was “unable to conclude the Crown has proven his actions meet a criminal standard.”
Murchie, who was in the courtroom as the verdict was read, declined comment afterward.
He was originally charged in 2020 with criminal harassment and forcible entry involving another complainant, as well as breach of trust, but the Crown stayed those counts in June.
RCMP spokesperson Dawn Roberts said Murchie remains suspended with pay, pending an independent internal code of conduct investigation, which is expected to head to a hearing, although the date has not been confirmed.
Roberts said they will also await a copy of the judge’s decision and will discuss the matter with the BC Prosecution Service, who will decide whether to appeal.