TORONTO —; A sergeant with the Toronto Police Service faces criminal charges after a 27-year-old woman alleged she was sexually assaulted inside a police cruiser last fall.
The SIU said the incident happened shortly before 1 a.m. on Sept. 24, 2015 when the officer allegedly picked up the woman near Wellington Street West and Blue Jays Way to drive her home.
According to a statement released by Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU), the woman was sexually assaulted during the ride.
Sgt. Christopher Heard faces one count of sexual assault. He is scheduled to appear in court on April 14.
In the past Heard has been hailed as a hero.
A post on the Toronto Police Service’s website describes an incident in August 2012 when Heard had performed an “off-duty water rescue” at Sharbot Lake Provincial Park.
The post describes how the sergeant heard cries of help and rushed into the water to save a man who was drowning. Heard and another swimmer managed to bring the man safely to shore.
“There was really something wrong. I looked around and no one was moving,” Heard, who is described as a mounted unit officer, is quoted in the post.
“He did not speak good English, but he was able to say thank-you.”
The post said the 23-year police veteran didn’t “consider the rescue heroic, but was glad he could recognize the problem quickly and lend his help.”
Heard was listed as having a salary of $144,552.72 in the Toronto Police’s 2014 Public Sector Salary Disclosure Report released in March 2015.
The SIU is an arm’s-length agency that investigates incidents involving police where there has been death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault.