KINGSTON, ONT. - A Kingston Police officer who had sex with a 15-year-old girl last summer at a friend’s home has been sentenced to 20 days of jail on weekends and probation for 18 months.
Curtis Borel, 39, a father of four who was married to another police officer at the time, was scheduled to begin a three-day trial Wednesday on a charge of sexual interference and two December violations of his bail conditions.
However, after discussions with his lawyer, Clyde Smith, the suspended constable – a 10-year veteran of the local police service – opted to instead plead guilty to a single charge of touching a person under 16 for a sexual purpose.
Assistant Crown attorney Mike Lunski subsequently withdrew the breach charges, which involved Borel’s consumption of alcohol and events that the judge was told were related to his apprehension and hospitalization in December under the Mental Health Act.
Lunski, a Hastings County Crown attorney was brought in from Belleville, Ont., to prosecute the case because his office does not routinely deal with Kingston Police and Borel was unknown to him.
In addition to jail and probation, Judge D. Kent Kirkland ordered that Borel be included on the sex offender information registry for 10 years. But he declined to make a supplemental order requested by Lunski that would have barred Borel from working or volunteering in any position of trust or authority over young people during that time.
In explaining his decision, the judge said he accepted the characterization of Borel’s crime, agreed on by both lawyers -- that it was opportunistic rather than predatory.
Kirkland heard that the 15-year-old victim and another 17-year-old girl had been staying at the home of Borel’s friend for two days when Borel stopped by to visit.
The constable didn't know the girls, according to the Crown, and there was no suggestion in court that he was aware the victim was a runaway or that her family had reported her missing to police.
Lunski said Borel and his friend went on a booze run, buying beer and coolers, which they drank with the girls.
Kirkland was told there was also marijuana, but Borel didn’t partake.
At one point, Lunski said, one of the girls, noting the way Borel carried himself, asked him directly if he was a cop. He didn’t answer the question, the judge was told, responding instead by repeating her own question and asking: “Are you a cop?”
Kirkland was told that together with the drinking there was dancing and eventually Borel took the 15-year-old by the hand and led her upstairs, where they had what the teen later claimed to police was consensual sex.
Under the law, however, persons under 16 years of age can’t consent to sexual relations with adults.
Lunski said Borel, when confronted with the allegation in October, told his police interviewers that he’d never asked the girl’s age and simply assumed she was old enough to drink.
After having sex, Borel and the teen later returned downstairs and Borel left the house.
He returned the following morning to speak to his friend, however, and the two teens were still there, looking out a window to see Borel drive up in a Kingston Police cruiser, court heard.
Kirkland was told that the 15-year-old later told a number of people about her sexual encounter with Borel, referring to him as "Officer Curtis."
But Lunski said she made no complaint to police.
On July 19, 2011, after the teen and a friend had been brought to police headquarters on an unrelated matter, the victim’s friend suddenly announced “they should be investigating Officer Curtis.”
It wasn’t until October that the 15-year-old agreed to give a statement. Borel was interviewed Oct. 19 and “admitted to some aspects” of the sexual encounter.
Lunski disclosed that later that same day Borel attempted suicide with an overdose of prescription medication, and two months later he suffered a mental breakdown and had to be hospitalized.
Smith said his client has since been found mentally fit and his doctors believe his difficulties were brought on by the shock of being charged.
Lunski urged Kirkland to jail Borel for between 45 and 60 days. He observed that while the cop’s behaviour wasn’t “strictly speaking a breach of trust” since he didn’t use his position as a police officer to secure the teen’s sexual favours, “it is clear that Mr. Borel breached the trust of the community by engaging in the activities he did.”
Smith argued for no more than a 14-day sentence.
Before last summer, Smith said, his client had an established career as a police officer, “he was married to another police officer, with four young children – that’s all gone.”
Smith said Borel has been living in the Toronto area without his family since last fall and is trying to start over in a new career unrelated to law enforcement.
He’s also “going to have to re-establish a new relationship with his kids,” Smith told the judge.