Ottawa police officer convicted of assault, then charged with sexual harassment, resigns

An Ottawa police officer who had been suspended with pay for three and a half years, found guilty of assaulting a former girlfriend and facing nine disciplinary charges, forcibly resigned.

Const. Carl Keenan was first suspended by the Ottawa Police Service (OPS) in December 2017 after being criminally charged with assaulting a former girlfriend in Quebec. That suspension ended on July 20 of this year when Keenan formally resigned from the service, according to police manning documents due to be received by the police board on Monday.

Keenan was convicted of assault causing bodily harm in July 2020 and was released on parole in October of that year, meaning he would not have a criminal record if he met the conditions of his release. He was also sentenced to two years of probation.

His police disciplinary hearing could not begin until his criminal case was completed.

Misconduct charges dating back to 2016

Keenan has been charged with three counts of insubordination, five counts of misconduct and one count of breach of trust under the Police Services Act, the law that governs police in Ontario.

The charges were linked to allegations that spanned from 2016 to 2020, and included Keenan who allegedly sexually harassed a recruit he had been appointed mentor.

In November 2016, Keenan was the coach of the rookie colleague. Police alleged he sexually harassed her until February 2017.

Ottawa Police also alleged that for a period of two years, from 2015 to the end of 2017, Keenan accessed the police database and would send “sensitive and confidential information” to his personal email address.

Keenan was also charged with “aggressively yelling and pushing” someone out of a car in the parking lot of Greenbank Road Police Station between October 2015 and 2016.

Firearm

Internal investigators also found evidence that he not only fired his police weapon while off duty in September 2017, and at a location that had not been approved by the service, but he had also handed over his weapon to a child and a civilian to do the same in an open field, according to the charges against him.

Just two weeks before he was criminally charged by MRC des Collines police for assaulting his former girlfriend, Ottawa police alleged that Keenan, while on duty, had recorded the behavior of a person apprehended under the Mental Health Act on his personal phone, then shared that video “with inappropriate comment” with a civilian.

The officer also faced disciplinary action for the assault conviction. He resigned before pleading to one of the misconduct charges against him.

Keenan is a former Military Police Officer who joined the Ottawa Police in 2009. He served in the Canadian Armed Forces from 2005 to 2007.

Including Keenan, two Ottawa police officers have now resigned in 2021 before facing their disciplinary hearings.


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