A Vancouver police officer has been convicted of sexually assaulting a colleague during a trip to Whistler in 2019.
Lower Mainland news outlets reported that Surrey resident Jagraj "Roger” Berar was found guilty in North Vancouver Provincial Court on Wednesday, Oct. 6. He was initially charged with sexual assault in November 2019, following a Squamish RCMP investigation that began after the detachment received a complaint on July 19 of that year.
Court records say the assault allegedly occurred July 15. According to CTV, the court heard that the female victim was one of several colleagues who had been drinking in Whistler Village before returning to Berar's hotel suite. The victim testified that she threw up in the hotel room's bathroom, adding that she lost consciousness and could only remember portions of the night. According to her testimony, she woke up to find Berar performing a sexual act on her. She said she told Berar to stop, before getting dressed and leaving.
Judge Joanne Challenger ruled that the victim was too drunk to consent to sex, a fact Berar should have recognized. She said she found the victim to be credible, according to reports.
Berar had denied the assault, claiming the sexual interaction was consensual.
In a statement at the time Berar was charged, Squamish RCMP expressed their belief that "this was an isolated incident involving persons known to each other,” adding that police did "not believe the allegations are related to his employment as a police officer.” Berar was 51 years old at the time he was charged, according to that statement.
Vancouver Police Department Const. Tania Visintin told Pique that Berar has been a Vancouver police officer for about 23 years. He has been suspended with pay since the allegations came to light in 2019, she confirmed.
A date for Berar's sentencing hearing has not yet been set.