Tuesday , October 26 2021

A Toronto police officer is responsible for the professional misconduct associated with Bruce McArthur's investigation


It is expected that a Toronto police officer will be charged with two professional offenses in connection with the investigation into the serial killer Bruce McArthur, Star has learned.

Sgt. Paul Gauthier is scheduled to arrive at the Toronto Police Tribunal on Tuesday to be formally accused of neglecting his duties and distrust.

The serial killer Bruce McArthur, seen in court court on Monday.
The serial killer Bruce McArthur, seen in court court on Monday. (Alex Tavshunsky sketch)

The details of his charges will not be released until after Gauthier's arrival, but the police source Star said that this is due to the internal review that the Toronto police launched last year during the investigation into McArthur.

Last March Toronto Police Insp. Hank Idsing, one of the investigators who led the McArthur case, said he had prepared a report and sent it to the Toronto Police Professional Standards Unit for internal probe.

This report related to "the behavior of some past events officials (who), I believe I believe … probably did not do what they had done, in accordance with our policies and procedures," said Idsing's Star: Time.

"And that is something that should be explored and I am not the one who investigates it," he said, although he did not disclose any information about the message sent to the police internal investigators.

The Toronto police talked to McArthur twice before the arrest, once in a previous investigation into the disappearance of his victims and again in 2016 after the man reported to the police that McArthur had tried to harass him, but he was released.

According to the documents of the police tribunal, Gauthier had previously been charged with two professional misconduct while he was with a sexual offense unit that was not associated with a Tuesday hearing.

These fees were eventually canceled and the issue was resolved internally.

A police document setting out earlier allegations against Gauthier stated that, as of July 2011, Gauthier was working with a sexual crime unit when he investigated a case where he had valid and probable reasons for detaining the suspect. Specifically, Gauthier had DNA evidence to identify a potential culprit with a positive link to the offender in the National DNA Data Bank.

But the suspect was never arrested. Five years later, the same person was arrested by the Peel Regional Police for unrelated sexual offenses. During the Peel police investigation, it was found that "the information originally received in 2011 (Gauthier) was never handled," according to police documents.

According to the police document, Gauthier "failed to provide a thorough investigation"; "Failed to secure" DNS link; and "failure to provide" that the measures were imposed on the suspect.

"In doing so, you have committed an offense because you, without a legitimate excuse, have dropped or failed to fulfill an immediate and diligent duty as a member of the police force of which you are a member."

While many of Toronto's LGBTQ communities have praised Toronto police officers whose work led to McArthur's arrest, some believe that a public inquiry could identify systemic issues that might have prevented McArthur from catching up faster.

Former Ontario Court of Appeal Judge Gloria Epstein conducts an independent review of how the Toronto police deal with the missing person's investigation.

On Wednesday, Epstein wrote a letter to Andy Pringle, chairman of the Toronto Police Board, asking for her review to be extended to allow her to investigate police investigations conducted by McArthur himself. Currently, Epstein cannot review the Toronto police action with a serial killer, including previous contacts with him, due to the constraints created to maintain McArthur's right to a fair trial.

Wendy Gillis is a Toronto-based reporter covering crime and police. Reach her by email: [email protected] or follow her on Twitter: @wendygillis

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