Crime & Punishment

Crime and justice comment and analysis

Archive for March 2006

Justice denied for innocent cop

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The case of former RCMP Constable John Hudak is more than a little troubling.

Hudak’s story, called Branded for Life was told on CTV’s  W5 . Hudak was a small-town cop, a Mountie involved in his community who was accused of sexual assault by a local nurse, Mildred Johnson, 58.

By all accounts it would appear as though the investigation was botched early on and in reality, it should have clearly determined that the complainant was either wrong, or more accurately, deliberate in a false accusation of a man who had spurned her attentions.

Hell hath no fury and all that, but this case literally screams out that the man in this case is clearly not the predator and the woman clearly is. Unfortunately, all too often the system is too politically correct to get its head around that concept.

Any allegation of a sex assault should be treated seriously. But, as any investigator of sex crimes will tell you, the majority of complaints they get are unfounded or vindictive. That’s not a popular statement but it is very accurate.

As much as the ultra-feminist movement would have us believe that men are evil predators, the reality is that women are by far and away, more dangerous in the way they use the public perception to gain either an advantage or vengeance.

While this certainly doesn’t pretend that some men aren’t sexual predators, it also doesn’t automatically assume the woman making the complaint is telling the truth. In point of fact, as I said, the majority of complaints made to police are either unfounded or untruthful.

And that is what is truly puzzling about the Hudak case. The woman involved has a history of making unfounded allegations of this nature. Yet the RCMP apparently never checked the woman’s background. Why not?

Equally, DNA evidence seized form Johnson’s couch proved to be a mixed sample and the male portion was not from Hudak. And, in the course of the investigation, Hudak took a polygraph which concluded that he was telling the truth.

Hudak’s detachment commander protested in vain to the Mountie brass that they were prosecuting an innocent man. Yet, the prosecution soldiered on.

Hudak was ultimately acquitted in a courtroom he should have never been in except as a witness in the mischief case against Mildred Johnson, a prosecution that will likely never occur.

But Hudak will always have the label ‘sex offender” attached to him even though he was acquitted.  Once accused of that sort of crime, the stigma is always there.

Why was Hudak charged when there was essentially no evidence against him and a mountain of evidence to indicate Mildred Johnson was fabricating the allegation?

Most likely it was simply because he was a cop. And this is something that has always bothered me.

It is true that the police must be held to a higher standard and as such, they must be purer than Caesar’s wife.  But, they should also not subject to a prosecution when the evidence doesn’t support it.

It takes balls for a police chief or other senior police management to stand up and back their members publicly when it is the right thing to do. And I’m not talking about covering up inappropriate behaviour as we have seen more often than I’d care to admit.

No, I’m talking about doing the right thing when it is appropriate. And it is just that testicular fortitude that was missing in the senior management of the RCMP in the Hudak case.

Leo Knight

Written by Leo Knight

March 19, 2006 at 7:58 pm

Posted in Crime & Punishment

Harper’s bold moves show promise

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Despite the incessant whining from the lib/left, and I include the bulk of the mainstream media in this, I think newly-minted Prime Minister Stephen Harper is off to a pretty good start.

He made some moves in the wake of the election of his minority government that will serve to unite the centre-right of the country politically and at least give his Conservatives the chance to be more than a political flash-in-the-pan.

Harper knows that the Liberals need to re-invent themselves after ten years of Martinite/Chretienite blood-letting. Without seats among the tongue-clucking classes in the three major urban areas of the country, he addressed these gaps by appointing Michael Fortier and David Emerson to cabinet posts.

Fortier is a major Tory political force in Quebec and Emerson is a well-respected businessman first recruited by Paul Martin in one of his infrequent moments of clarity.

The floor-crossing of Emerson has created an outcry from the lefty/unionist types in the blue collar riding of Vancouver-Kingsway, but really, I fail to see why it should be still on anyone’s radar screen this long after the appointment.

Yes, Emerson was elected as a Liberal. But frankly, Emerson is far from a Grit true-believer. He is still the same man the riding elected only now he has a seat at the cabinet table. If the trendy lefties in Vancouver Kingsway are so worried that the “scary Harper” might unleash his “hidden agenda” upon an unsuspecting population, aren’t they in a much better position to monitor that with a member in cabinet?

They are squealing like scalded cats but really, it’s much ado about nothing. Emerson will represent his riding ethically and responsibly, the hallmarks of his career at every turn thus far. And the sanctimonious whining from those who simply won’t move on is getting ever more tedious.

Fortier is an equally bold move. With a beachhead in Quebec, Harper moved to further align the federalist segment of the population that he needs to blunt the ambitions of the separatists who believed they were on a winning path to another referendum when the Liberals were caught inflagrente dilecto (yet again) only this time, with Adscam, it was more than anyone could stand.

True, he wasn’t elected and was appointed to the Senate in order to have him in Cabinet. While that may seem at odds with the democratic ideals of the Conservatives, it was a very pragmatic short-cut to bring the Quebec federalists on board. Or, at least, giving the Tories a chance to get them on board.

Make no mistake about it, Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe saw the demise of the Liberals as a chance to re-energize his foundering separatist movement. With the electoral beachhead and the appointment of Fortier, Harper is demonstrating that the Tories are the logical alternative to those in Quebec who wish to see this country remain as a single entity.

It’s very early in Harper’s mandate and the upcoming budget and Throne Speech will be the real litmus test to see if Harper is the real meal deal or doomed to be a footnote in history. But frankly, his first few weeks have shown he is prepared to be bold and decisive.

Leo Knight

Written by Leo Knight

March 12, 2006 at 1:27 am

Posted in Crime & Punishment