RNC officer Doug Snelgrove going to nation’s top court to stop sexual assault retrial

A Royal Newfoundland Constabulary officer is appealing a top-court decision in Newfoundland and Labrador to the top court in the country, to prevent a retrial on a charge of sexual assault.

Last year, a jury acquitted Carl Douglas Snelgrove. The Crown appealed.

In a 2-1 decision issued last month, the Newfoundland and Labrador Court of Appeal found that the trial judge erred in law in her instructions to the jury.

The appeal court ordered a new trial.

But Snelgrove filed a notice of appeal with the Supreme Court of Canada two weeks ago, seeking to overturn that decision.

Snelgrove’s lawyer, Randy Piercey, declined comment when contacted by CBC News.

Public Prosecutions also declined comment at this time.

The RNC confirmed that Snelgrove remains suspended without pay.

Officer was on-duty at time of incident 

Snelgrove’s acquittal last year sparked controversy.

The sexual assault charge related to an incident that occurred just before Christmas of 2014.

A woman in her early 20s testified that she went alone to find a taxi at 2:30 a.m. because she was too drunk to remain at a St. John’s bar.  

A sexual-assault case involving an on-duty Royal Newfoundland Constabulary officer is headed to the Supreme Court of Canada. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

Snelgrove, an on-duty RNC officer, testified that she came to his marked police car and asked him for a ride home.

Once there, Snelgrove testified that the woman initiated sexual activity. He said it was consensual.

The woman was unable to recall much of what happened after she let Snelgrove into the apartment, testifying that she was “too drunk to kind of stand up.”

The case largely revolved around the issue of consent.

In ordering a new trial, Court of Appeal Justice Gale Welsh wrote that “the trial judge erred in law in her interpretation and application” of the section of the Criminal Code that deals with the meaning of consent, in how she instructed the jury.

Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador