b c cops detained in cuba for 8 months acquitted on sex assault charges

B.C. cops detained in Cuba for 8 months acquitted on sex assault charges

Canada World

Two Metro Vancouver police officers that have been detained in Cuba for eight months over allegations of sexual assault have been acquitted.

The news was posted to social media by supporters of Vancouver Police Department (VPD) Const. Mark Simms and his friend, Port Moody Police Department (PMPD) Const. Jordan Long, and confirmed by Global News.

The decision came down from a five-woman jury last week. However, the two men remain in Cuba, and are still dealing with visa issues.

WATCH: Appeal from family of B.C. cop held in Cuba (Aired Oct. 12, 2018)

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The pair has been stuck on the island country since March, when they had gone to the resort town of Varadero for a vacation.

A 17-year-old girl from Ontario contacted Cuban police alleging she had been sexually assaulted, and the pair were arrested, then released, but prevented from leaving the country.

READ MORE: ‘Somebody… knows the truth,’ pleads sister of B.C. cop accused of sex assault in Cuba

Supporters, including Simms’ sister and his reverend, who travelled to Cuba, had consistently maintained the men were innocent, and pointed to a lack of evidence and problems with the Cuban justice system.

Reverend Blake Field, who is fluent in Spanish, previously told Global News that the duo was forced to sign documents they couldn’t read and that the court documents in the case had made no mention of evidence in the case.

WATCH: Vancouver reverend visits cops detained in Cuba

B.C.’s Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner said a possible probe of the officers’ conduct in Cuba remains up in the air.

“There is an investigation under the Police Act, but that has been suspended pending what was going down in Cuba. So until we receive something official, we don’t have any information to provide,” said Andrea Spindler, acting deputy police complaint commissioner.

READ MORE: B.C. cops held in Cuba on sexual assault allegation being denied justice, says Vancouver reverend

Spindler referred further questions to the VPD and PMPD.

The VPD said it hadn’t been provided with any official updates on the case. Global News has requested comment from the PMPD.