'I’M STILL TERRIFIED:' Victim of Ottawa police officer's abuse
feels defeated by probation plea agreement
Const. Eric Post, 49, is expected to resign from the service as part of his plea
deal, but his victims have been told that he won’t face jail time for what he’s
admitted to doing and will instead be subject to probation.
The second woman to complain about the abusive behaviour of Ottawa police Const.
Eric Post says the whole process — from fighting to have the police take her
allegations seriously, to the sham of a plea deal that saw him admit to just
five of 32 criminal charges — has been defeating.
The woman, whose identity is protected by a publication ban, was one of seven
women who came forward with serious criminal allegations against Post, including
sexual assault. One victim died by suicide before the trial was scheduled to
Post, 49, is expected to resign from the service as part of his plea deal, but
his victims have been told that he won’t face jail time for what he’s admitted
to doing and will instead be subject to probation.
It’s left the woman wondering who is accountable for what happened with Post’s
prosecution, which she said was beset by a delay in properly investigating him
and what she felt was a reluctance to probe his conduct, resulting in a
resolution for just some of his victims that will have him back on the street.
The woman met Post in January, 2018, on dating app Bumble. On their second date,
he picked her up from work and while driving across a bridge told her that “if
she ever cheated on him he would throw her body in the river” and “get away with
it because he is a police officer,” according to the facts of Post’s plea.
While the woman dismissed Post’s comments at the time, she said she later
realized how volatile and “explosive” his behaviour had been after discussing it
with friends. Post said that he would have never followed through with the
threat but admitted that he said it to intimidate her, according to the
agreed-upon facts.It wouldn’t be the last time.
Just one month later, the woman and Post had an argument during which he grabbed
her by the neck tightly and slapped her face. The woman originally described the
slap as a “light tap,” and went to slap him back. Post, who was an active police
officer, said that if she did, it would be considered assaulting a police
officer. When she texted him later saying it was unacceptable to put his hands
on her, he told her she was being too sensitive.
Time and time again, she made excuses for his behaviour, largely because of the
trauma she believed he endured as a police officer.
On a Sunday evening in February 2018, while getting ready for his patrol shift,
Post deployed his Taser just inches from her face. Despite how uncomfortable it
made her, they continued dating.
“During this period of time (Post) was controlling of (the woman) … and would
get angry when she did things that did not involve him, including going out with
her friends,” according to the facts of the plea.
After attending a 911 call for a toddler’s death where the child died in his
arms, he phoned the woman — who was in a public place — and berated her for not
being empathetic enough. This episode is part of the plea facts, but the woman
doesn’t understand why it was included, but not the rest of the allegations she
brought forward to police.
That same weekend while she was out of town, the woman told police that Post
threatened to drive to “snap her neck,” “gouge” her eyeballs, and kill her
family. Post had been charged with uttering threats to her over the phone but
did not plead guilty to that specific allegation.
It’s but one example of what the woman calls “watered-down facts” that have
robbed the process of accountability.
The Ministry of the Attorney General would not answer questions about the
negotiation with defence counsel that led to the agreed facts saying that
“conversations between the Crown and defence counsel regarding resolution are
privileged and confidential.” The ministry declined to answer any other
questions about the Crown’s handling of the case saying “it would be
inappropriate to comment.”
After the episode in 2018, the woman revealed to a friend what Post had said and
done during their months-long relationship, who told her to report it to police.
She did so that very night.
The woman came forward in May of that year, with allegations that would
ultimately lead to eight criminal charges against Post. He would end up pleading
guilty to just two of them.
The woman says Post had threatened to harm her if she told anyone what was going
on. That night at the police station, she said an inspector dismissed her
concerns, later telling her that it was unlikely that Post would be suspended
and that police officers are human. “They make mistakes, too,” she remembers him
saying. She felt re-victimized and brushed off.
She would, all told, be asked to give five different interviews to police
investigators over the next several months.
In June 2018, she was told that due to a “lack of evidence,” her criminal case
would be closed and the matter was instead being sent to police discipline
investigators. Post was suspended with pay the very next day — June 13 — but the
woman was never informed.
She took the step of writing a letter to former chief Charles Bordeleau, writing
that throughout the whole process, she “lived in constant fear and anxiety,” and
“seeing police officers around the city of Ottawa would trigger panic attacks.
“Based on the evidence provided, I ask for you to consider the reopening of my
case. I am asking you to take disciplinary action against Const. Post and to
address his criminal behaviour,” she wrote.
The disciplinary investigation eventually made its way back to criminal
“Why did I have to give five different statements?” the woman said. “Why did it
get to go on from 2013 (when the first complainant came forward) to now?”
In September 2018, Post was formally charged with 32 crimes by the sexual
assault and child abuse unit.
In October 2018, the woman filed a complaint with the Office of the Independent
Police Review Director — a civilian police complaint watchdog. Her complaint
made clear that she was “filing a complaint against the Ottawa Police Service
(and) how the Ottawa Police Service treated me as a victim of domestic abuse.”
A counsellor at the Ottawa Victim Crisis Unit told her that as a victim of
domestic abuse who complained to police, she should have been put in contact
with the unit to make a safety plan, received a police report number and been
given a risk assessment. None of that was done.
In a statement to this newspaper, the Ottawa Police Service said, “When a victim
reports a domestic violence incident to the police, policy dictates that the
police officer is to refer him/her to the Victim Crisis Unit.”
The service said, “The officer should assess each case individually and provide
general safety planning and offer any other supports deemed appropriate.” That
could include discussing peace bonds or restraining orders, or things like
changing locks to keep complainants safe.
“All domestic violence coded reports are automatically sent to the Victim Crisis
Unit for review.”
Police did not respond to the specifics of the woman’s complaint.
According to the police watchdog’s website, the status of that complaint remains
as: “Complaint sent to police service.” That was effective Nov. 26, 2018, more
than two years ago. The woman has been told that police misconduct investigators
can’t investigate until Post’s criminal matter is completed.
At the end of 2020, the woman was informed by prosecutors that there would be a
guilty plea in the case, but it wasn’t until Jan. 14, when she was listening in
on the virtual hearing that she realized Post was admitting to just five of 32
Ottawa police said that because the Citizen’s “questions relate to an ongoing
criminal court matter,” it’s their “intention to provide … an answer when the
process is complete.”
Police said that “a full review of this entire matter is already underway …
(and) that review will also look at other similar examples of misconduct and
“The Ottawa Police Service takes the issues relating to violence against women,
workplace harassment and gender equity very seriously,” police said in a
statement. “We are working with our members and our community partners to make
needed changes and improvements to our ability to both prevent such issues from
occurring as well as to be more effective in responding when such issues arise.
This includes better supports to victims.”
The service said its “ongoing partnership … with the (violence against women)
sector is an example of our efforts to enable community members to come forward
to report sex-related crimes with the confidence that they will be properly
supported during the intake, investigation and/or resolution aspects of their
scheduled to be sentenced on April 1 for four counts of assault and one count of
uttering threats. The woman has been asked to write a victim impact statement to
be read at sentencing, which seems pointless to her when the man will not go to
It’s a rehashing of her abuse and trauma for the sake of a system that has let
her down.“I’m still angry, I’m still terrified, I’m still living in fear even
though this happened in 2018,” the woman said.
She told prosecutors she felt like they had failed her.
“Who are we supposed to go to?”
TIMELINE OF EVENTS
2013: First complainant comes
forward to police with allegations against Const. Eric Post.
2018: Post begins romantic
relationship with second complainant.
May 2018: Second complainant
alleges domestic abuse by Post to Ottawa police
June 12, 2018: Ottawa police tell
second complainant that due to a lack of evidence, her case will be transferred
to internal disciplinary investigators.
June 13, 2018: Post is suspended
with pay by the Ottawa Police Service
Sept. 19, 2018: Post is criminally
charged with 21 offences, including two counts of sexual assault, pointing a
firearm, criminal harassment, uttering threats, assault. The charges relate to
four separate victims.
Sept. 28, 2018: Police charge post
with 11 more crimes, bringing the total number of charges against him to 32. The
charges, in all, relate to seven different women.
October 2018: Post is granted bail
and is released on house arrest with a GPS ankle bracelet.
January 2021: Post pleads guilty
to just five of the 32 crimes he was charged with – four counts of assault and
one count of uttering threats.
April 2021: Post is scheduled to
be sentenced for his crimes.
Commentary by the Ottawa Mens Centre
This is a rare example of the Ottawa Sun ever publishing anything negative about
the Ottawa Police.
Generally, the Ottawa Sun engages in never ending conservative police supporting
and refuse to publish stories about Ottawa Police corruption and in particular,
the story of
how now Sgt. Peter Van Der Zander fabricated evidence.
Its enough to make you puke.