A former Fort St. James Mountie is facing charges of sexually assaulting a young teen, dating back to 1993.
Jacob Hes has been charged with one count of sexual assault and one count of sexual interference.
The offences are alleged to have occurred between March 18, 1993, and Jan. 27, 1997, in or near Fort St. James – coinciding with time he served in the RCMP as a sergeant, Black Press Media has learned.
Cpl. Kim Chamberland at RCMP National Headquarters in Ottawa confirmed Hes was a regular member of the RCMP in E Division.
The complainant, whose identity is protected under a publication ban, expressed hope for justice in an interview with Black Press Media.
Lynnell Halikowski, executive director at the Prince George Sexual Assault Centre, has committed 39 years of her career to anti-violence work. She says that it takes bravery for victims to come forward, especially when the allegations are against someone in a position of authority, like a police officer.
“We’ve had a number of complaints over my time here at the center of folks in positions of authority abusing that authority and committing acts of sexual violence against folks.
“Victims are up against really incredible odds in terms of having their story heard, taken seriously, and moving forward through the criminal justice system.”
The complainant told Black Press Media that police were first contacted in August of 2021 followed by a second statement in October of 2021. Charges were sworn on Oct. 24, 2022, according to the BC Prosecution Service.
“It takes an incredible amount of courage, when the system has already harmed you, to tell your story and to trust the very system that has caused you harm,” Halikowski said.
Sexual assault reports have increased across the country in recent years – but it remains incredibly under-reported, with an estimated four per cent of survivors reporting abuse to police.
The accused was due in provincial court in Prince George on Feb. 23 to fix a trial date. His next appearance is set for a preliminary inquiry on May 23.
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