A high-profile B.C. RCMP officer has filed a response to a civil lawsuit that accuses him of sexual harassment, denying claims he exposed himself and made advances towards a former civilian co-worker.
Atoya Montague, who held several communications positions with the RCMP between 2002 and 2011, launched a civil lawsuit against Inspector Tim Shields in August, 2013. In the suit, she alleges that Inspector Shields made sexual advances toward her during a trip to Kamloops in 2003 to deliver supplies to victims of wildfires. She also claims Inspector Shields made similar advances and exposed himself to her in July, 2008.
In a response filed with the B.C. Supreme Court last week, Inspector Shields denies “each and every allegation.” He admits in the document that he and Ms. Montague shared intimate personal information during the Kamloops trip, but the “conversation was mutual and the Plaintiff was a willing participant.”
The court document says that when Inspector Shields left the section where he worked with Ms. Montague, she wrote in a farewell album prepared by members in the unit: “As a boss, Tim you were a constant source of support, a great sounding board and a positive recipient of new ideas. But what mattered the most was the sense of partnership we had …
“Thanks for teaching me the true benefits of co-dependency and for always having my back. I will miss you.”
The statement of defence also alleges Ms. Montague frequently talked about personal and sexual aspects of her life with colleagues at work.
“She participated in sexual banter and frequently made sexual remarks and jokes, including comments and jokes about her own breasts,” the document reads.
Ms. Montague could not be reached for comment.
Earlier this month, Inspector Shields became the subject of a second sexual harassment lawsuit filed by a civilian co-worker.
Anitra Singh was a senior communications adviser from February, 2008, until September, 2012, when she took sick leave. Ms. Singh reported to Inspector Shields, who was in charge of the B.C. RCMP’s E Division at the time.
In a notice of civil claim filed in B.C. Supreme Court, Ms. Singh alleges Inspector Shields made lewd comments to her verbally and in text messages, showed her his penis and confined her in a washroom, forcing her to touch him inappropriately. The alleged harassment took place from 2009 to 2011, she claims.
Inspector Shields’s actions caused Ms. Singh to develop post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety and other ailments, according to court documents. He has not yet filed a response to Ms. Singh’s lawsuit.
Inspector Shields could not be reached for comment on the second lawsuit.
None of the allegations has been proven in court.