Retired OPP officer heads to trial

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Retired OPP officer heads to trial

Postby Thomas » Tue Feb 07, 2017 3:44 pm

BARRIE - A retired OPP officer facing sex assault charges will take his case to trial before a jury.

James Hewitt, 71, a former Orillia constable, is charged with three counts of sexual assault, sexual interference and sexual invitation in relation to a person under the age of 16. The offences are alleged to have happened in 2009 but none of the allegations have been proven.

Hewitt remains out of custody on bail and his trial is set for next October.

http://www.orilliapacket.com/2017/02/06 ... s-to-trial
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Former Orillia cop sentenced to six years for sex crimes

Postby Thomas » Sat Mar 23, 2019 7:44 am

A retired Orillia OPP constable was sentenced Friday to six years in jail on three sex charges.

Jim Hewitt, 73, sat in a Barrie courtroom and listened to victim impact statements during his sentencing hearing. He was found guilty of sexual assault, sexual interference and sexual exploitation in February.

The victim’s identity is protected under a publication ban.

According to the charges, Hewitt raped the victim multiple times per week over a number of years, starting when the victim was 12 years old. Her victim impact statement was read to the court by Crown attorney Michelle Levasseur.

“He was a police officer, and I trusted him,” the victim wrote in her statement. “I had to be available to him as his sex toy. You are the monster that visits me in my dreams.”

In the statement, the victim said she has received a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety and takes medication for both. She said she had signed up for college this past September, but after a failed suicide attempt due to the stress of the upcoming trial, she was forced to drop out.

“You should have been charged with murder because you killed a part of me,” she wrote.

The victim’s mother also made a victim impact statement before the court.

“I have lost my baby girl,” she said. “We are no longer as close as we once were, and I don’t know if we can ever repair our relationship.”

“I can’t even allow my mind to think about what you did to her for all those years. It makes me sick,” she said. “You were a police officer. You abused the power of your badge.”

“You have showed no remorse for your actions. You should be ashamed of yourself,” she said.

While the charges are not related to Hewitt’s service as an OPP officer, the fact that he had worked as an officer with the Ontario Provincial Police for 42 years was brought up many times during the sentencing hearing both by the Crown, as an aggravating factor to be considered, and the defence, as a reason for leniency.

“Mr. Hewitt was a police officer. Outside of this one horrific facet of his life, he did lead an exemplary life,” said Levasseur, adding Hewitt still expresses no remorse and hasn't accepted any responsibility. “That does not mean he should get a lesser sentence. He tore that family apart.”

Defence attorney Kim Miles said many OPP officers struggle with mental health due to the nature of things they see on the job, and that Hewitt is no exception.

“Any sentence will be harder on him than any other member of society by virtue of his past employment,” said Miles.

Levasseur agreed that jail will be challenging for Hewitt, but said it shouldn’t be considered a reason to lessen his sentence.

“It’s meant to be challenging. It’s meant to denounce his reprehensible conduct in terms of what he did to (the victim),” said Levasseur.

Character reference letters were submitted by the defence on Hewitt’s behalf, which was raised by the Crown during her submissions.

“It is concerning that we have reference letters from filed by individuals, some of whom may actually be police officers but at the very least are involved in the police community, who appear to have made a judgment on the innocence of Mr. Hewitt despite not having been here for the trial or heard the evidence your honour has heard,” said Levasseur.

The Crown had asked for a seven- to eight-year sentence. The defence had asked for three to five years.

Both the Crown and defence agreed on other conditions of Hewitt’s sentence, including that he be added to the sex offender registry, be prohibited from attending public places upon his release, a DNA order and a 10-year weapons prohibition. Judge Robert Charney granted those conditions as well in his sentence.

https://www.orilliamatters.com/local-ne ... es-1336132
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‘You abused your badge’: Retired officer handed six years

Postby Thomas » Sat Mar 23, 2019 7:46 am

‘You abused your badge’: Retired officer handed six years for sexual assault

“You should have been charged with murder because you killed a part of me.”

A victim impact statement read aloud in the Barrie courtroom on Friday shows the deep emotional scars left behind by years of sexual assault.

“You are the monster who visits me in my dreams," the victim's statement reads.

The monster she is referring to is none other than a retired OPP officer.

James Hewitt, now 73-years-old, sat listening as the court heard he forced intercourse on the victim, whose identity is protected.

The first assault took place in 2009 when she was just 12 years old and continued until 2016.

During a portion of that time, Hewitt was still an Ontario Provincial Police constable. He retired in 2010.

The Crown asked for a sentence of seven to eight years behind bars, while the defence argued that it should be much shorter given his age and the 42 years he spent with the force.

The defence also said that, outside of this incident, Hewitt had been a contributing member of society, blaming his behaviour on his job, the death of his work partner, and other traumatic experiences.

Hewitt’s lawyer also said his life might be in danger in prison because he was a police officer.

In the end, the judge sentenced Hewitt to six years.

For his victim, every day is a struggle.

“I still look over my shoulder to see if he’s following me, or hunting me down.”

The OPP released a statement today saying it respects the decision of the court and that public trust is the cornerstone of the police service.

https://barrie.ctvnews.ca/you-abused-yo ... -1.4348426
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