Vancouver police officer sentenced in sexual assault case

Warning: Some details in this article may be disturbing to readers.

A Vancouver police officer has been sentenced to one year in prison after being found guilty of the sexual assault of a colleague.

Jagraj Roger Berar learned his sentence in a North Vancouver courtroom Thursday. His sentence does not include probation, but he must provide a DNA sample and will be on the provincial sex offender registry for 10 years.

As described by the province, “The Sex Offender Information Registration Act requires individuals of designated sex offenses to register with the police for 10 years, 20 years or for life depending on the offense and other factors. The purpose of the act is to help police prevent and investigate sex-related crimes.”

This registry is contained in a national database maintained by the RCMP and is not accessible to the public.

The former member of the Vancouver Police Department, who was suspended when the allegations arose in 2019 and is no longer employed by the VPD, was found guilty in October.

In an email to CTV News, a spokesperson for the department said Berar is also the subject of an investigation by the Office of the Police Complaints Commissioner. The office may recommend or impose further discipline following that investigation.

All allegations of police misconduct in BC are referred to the OPCC.

The resident of Surrey who is in his 50s denied an assault took place in a hotel suite in Whistler, BC, that year, claiming any sexual activity that occurred was consensual. But the judge in his case found that the victim was too drunk to consent to sex, and said that, as a police officer with some experience in sex assault cases, Berar should have understood that.

During his trial, the court and Judge Joanne Challenger heard that the victim was inebriated to the point of losing consciousness on the day of the assault. She was one of several officers who’d been drinking in a suite rented by a colleague during a VPD golf tournament in the resort town.

The victim told the court during Berar’s trial that the group of officers went on to a hotel bar, then tried to get into a nightclub but was denied entry.

She said she and others went back to Berar’s suite, and she threw up in the bathroom. When she came back into the living room, she told the court, everyone but Berar had gone to bed.

The woman, whose identity is protected by a publication ban, said she blacked out and only remembered parts of the night, including at one point when she regained consciousness to find Berar performing oral sex on her.

She told the court she’d asked him to stop, got dressed and drove home to Squamish. She later reported the incident as an assault.

During the trial, the court heard about Berar’s police statement, as well as his testimony, and saw video of an undercover sting in which the victim arranged a meeting with him and questioned him about what happened that night.

Announcing she’d found Berar guilty, Judge Challenger said she found the victim to be credible, and Berar to be deceitful. The judge said the accused, now convicted, was careless with facts that could easily be verified, and that he’d fabricated his version of events.

A psychological assessment was ordered to determine Berar’s likelihood to reoffend, prior to sentencing.

With files from CTV News Vancouver’s Regan Hasegawa in North Vancouver, and previous coverage from CTV’s Ben Miljure and Travis Prasad

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