By Keith Fraser, Postmedia News January 5, 2012
Const. Karen Katz has filed a lawsuit in B.C. Supreme Court describing several incidents of abuse.
She said that on two occasions in 2006, while working alone with Const. Baldev Singh Bamra — also known as David Bamra — the male officer aggressively slammed his chest into her chest, while wearing a bulletproof vest.
“This behaviour shocked the plaintiff, and caused her pain and discomfort in her breasts, all of which the defendant, Bamra, knew or ought to have known, would be the result,” according to the lawsuit.
“The behaviour then escalated to a number of episodes of the defendant, suddenly and without warning, ‘bear-hugging’ the plaintiff in a tight, vice-lock grip. This behaviour shocked and disgusted the plaintiff and on each occasion, she had to physically push herself from his grip.”
The incidents happened after Bamra, at times a designated acting Corporal with authority over Katz, had commenced a campaign of “consistent complaining” to others about Katz’s activities while on shift, said the suit.
Katz, tired of the complaints and concerned about the impact they were having, asked to be transferred to a different watch.
She was moved to a different watch, but not long afterward, Bamra was also moved.
On one occasion, in around 2007, Katz said that near the end of a night shift, Bamra approached her while she was sitting on a desk, placed his crotch on her knee and in a grinding motion, rubbed his genitals against her knee.
She said she was in “absolute shock” and because of the force of his body against hers, was initially pinned to the desk, she was unable to move.
Katz says she felt humiliated and ashamed and reported the matter to her treating psychologist and to her supervisor, identified in the lawsuit only as Corporal J.
She said the RCMP did not investigate and was not aware of any disciplinary actions for Bamra.
Katz has been on medical leave since February 2009 and is being treated for post traumatic stress disorder. She claims Bamra is liable for civil, sexual assault and the tort of battery.
Katz alleges that the RCMP is vicariously liable to her because it knew or ought to have known of the history of conflict and difficulties between her and Bamra.
She is seeking general, special and aggravated damages as well as past loss of opportunity and diminished earning capacity.
No response has been filed to the notice of civil claim, which contains allegations that have not been proven in court.
RCMP Cpl. Annie Linteau said she wasn’t sure whether they had yet been served with the lawsuit and didn’t know whether there would be any comment at this stage. Also named as defendants are the Attorney-General of Canada and the ministry of public safety and solicitor-general.
An official with the solicitor-general’s ministry said she wasn’t sure if there would be any comment as the matter is before the courts.
Last year, a number of other female officers came forward with allegations of sexual harassment.