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Manitoba police officer sues over sharing of intimate images without permission

The Ottawa Citizen with Karen Busby 26 April 2018

A Manitoba police officer has filed a lawsuit alleging intimate images of her were shared without her permission.

Brittany Roque said she privately shared the photos with a member of the Brandon Police Service while they were in a brief relationship in 2015.

In her statement of claim, Roque, who now works as a police officer in Rivers, Man., alleges the images were later distributed by another woman as an act of revenge.

Her lawyer, Kevin Toyne, says his client was applying for a job with the Brandon police last year when she learned the intimate images of her had been shared with the police force without her consent.

He says this had a very significant impact on her and she is seeking compensation.

None of the allegations against a former civilian employee of the Brandon Police Service have been proven in court.

“The plaintiff pleads that the defendant’s non-consensual distribution of the intimate images is an act of revenge and retaliation against the plaintiff for her brief intimate relationship with the officer,” reads the statement of claim.

Rhea Majewski, the defendant’s lawyer, said her client was in a relationship with the officer at the same time as Roque but denies the allegations that the defendant distributed the photos.

Sections of the lawsuit cite Manitoba’s recently introduced Intimate Image Protection Act which allows victims to sue for damages.

Law professor Karen Busby said the Criminal Code also changed in 2015 to make it illegal to distribute intimate images without consent.

“Parliament and the Manitoba legislature have both spoken and have said it’s wrong to non-consensually distribute intimate images,” said Busby.

“I think that will be a message that courts will want to enforce.”

RCMP say Mounties are investigating a criminal complaint regarding Roque’s concerns.

Brandon police declined to comment on the case.

No specific financial amount of damages has been attached to the lawsuit.

The statement of claim is seeking an order that the defendant make a payment to the Canadian Centre for Child Protection which works to protect children from all forms of sexual exploitation.