BACK on November 15, 2019, we reported that Jagraj Roger Berar, 51, of Surrey, a serving Vancouver Police Department member, had been charged with sexual assault following an RCMP investigation into an alleged incident that occurred in the resort community of Whistler in the summer.
On Wednesday, Berar was convicted of sexual assault with North Vancouver Provincial Judge Joanne Challenger stating in her reasons for judgement that she found the victim, who was also a Vancouver police officer, to have been a credible and reliable witness on the key events.
The victim told the court that she and other VPD officers had been staying in Whistler because some of them took part in a golf tournament. The officers were drinking alcohol in a suite rented by a colleague. The group went on to a hotel bar and finally returned to Berar’s hotel suite.
The court heard that she threw up in the bathroom. She blacked out and woke up to find Berar performing a sexual act on her. She told him to stop. The victim drove home to Squamish. She later reported the assault.
Berar testified that they had shared a pull out couch. The court heard that he believed she was consenting because of the body movements and the sounds she was making.
The judge stated that she found the victim to have been a credible and reliable witness on the key events, adding: “I accept she was unconscious and at times semi-conscious and therefore could not give and did not consent.”
The judge said that Berar should have understood that because as a police officer he had some experience with sexual assault cases.
A psychological assessment to determine Berar’s likelihood to commit other sexual offences is to be carried out before a sentencing hearing.
Meanwhile, Vancouver Police told the media that in spite of the guilty verdict, there will also be a Police Act investigation.