Canadian Mounties Sex Case: Fire Her, Reprimand Him

An RCMP officer is now at risk of losing her job entirely for sleeping with her boss — while her boss faces merely a reprimand.

In 2009, Susan Gastaldo was an officer in the “Special O” unit of Canada’s national police force, the RCMP, in British Columbia. Late that year, her husband found suggestive messages on her BlackBerry from Staff Sgt Travis Pearson, Gastaldo’s boss. She quickly revealed that she’d been having an affair with him for months.

The sexual relationship is not in question. What was in question was how the relationship came about in the first place. Gastaldo claimed that she was coerced and threatened by Pearson to enter into and carry out the affair. He said it was fully consensual. And the RCMP adjudicators who were trying both her and Pearson on charges of disgraceful conduct decided they agreed with him. They found Gastaldo guilty of disgraceful Conduct for having sex with Pearson on the job. Pearson had already pleaded guilty to the same charges and gave a tearful apology to the force and to his family (but was never called to testify).

Now, she may lose her job in the aftermath, while he would be merely reprimanded despite being the superior officer and in a position of power over Gastaldo. Gastaldo faces firing because the RCMP says that she “slandered” Pearson when she said he pressured and threatened her to enter into and maintain their extramarital affair.

The RCMP says her claim of coercion is not believable because there is evidence in the form of emails and text messages between the two that show her as a willing participant. Gastaldo, however, said she said whatever she had to to “make him happy” because he had harassed her and verbally threatened her and her family. In addition, a second female RCMP officer came forward to testify for Gastaldo, saying that she, too, had been subjected to eerily similar advances from Pearson previously.

A high profile female RCMP officer is also taking Gastaldo’s side. Given the multiple recent revelations about sexual harassment in the force, RCMP Cpl Catherine Galliford is saying that if Gastaldo’s superior was hellbent on having an affair with her, there wasn’t much she could do about it since “men within the RCMP are given free reign to do whatever they want.”

In the current RCMP atmosphere, it’s questionable whether any woman in Gastaldo’s situation could possibly get a fair trial. But it’s obvious that all a man in the RCMP has to do is cry and swear fidelity to his family, and he can keep rolling merrily along as always before.

 

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Photo Credit: MPD01605 on Flickr.

21 comments

Ukiah S.
Ukiah S.1 years ago

@ Elizabeth K. We all know what you need too, a you ain't getting it from anyone I'm sure. Now go to the bathroom and wash that thing out well.

Susanne S.
Susanne Shaw4 years ago

This is disgusting! This is why serial killers (like the Highway of Tears guy) get away with murdering dozens of people...a lot of the police are idiots! Who hires these idiots, anyway? Oh more moronic male idiots. Gawd! And if women are caught theiving, they get 15 years in jail. A man gets less for raping a child. It is to PUKE! Yeah, these guys are just like Muslim misogynists. May they be reincarnated as women in Afhganistan or Pakistan or some other overpopulated misogynistic hellhole.

Susanne S.
Susanne Shaw4 years ago

This is disgusting! This is why serial killers (like the Highway of Tears guy) get away with murdering dozens of people...a lot of the police are idiots! Who hires these idiots, anyway? Oh more moronic male idiots. Gawd! And if women are caught theiving, they get 15 years in jail. A man gets less for raping a child. It is to PUKE! Yeah, these guys are just like Muslim misogynists. May they be reincarnated as women in Afhganistan or Pakistan or some other overpopulated misogynistic hellhole.

Carolyn S.
Carolyn S.4 years ago

Hmmm...sounds similar to some fundamentalist Muslim (not all Muslim) practices - kill the woman and do nothing to the man.

Dr Clue
Dr Clue4 years ago

Sounds like the RCMP has her back [ or at least left finger prints on the knife ] ;)

Elizabeth K.
Elizabeth K.4 years ago

Ukiah, joined today and already NOT on the way to making friends.

I think that's where the phrase "dickhead" came from.

Perhaps you should pop into the bathroom with a magazine, clear your head a little.

Ukiah S.
Ukiah S.4 years ago

@ Debbie B.

A little frigid are we? We all know what you need. Yes?

Cathryn C.
Cathryn C.4 years ago

When you have more than one woman coming forward, there is a pattern. Time for the RCMP to step back and let an outside agency take a look and adjudicate the matter as they seem to have a problem with understanding that Whats good for the Goose is good for the Gander.

KS Goh
KS Goh4 years ago

Thanks for the article.

pam w.
pam w.4 years ago

Dudley Doright and Nell? Egad!

Seriously....are there no written rules against fraternization in the Mounties?