A BC police officer who killed himself earlier this year was under investigation by the RCMP for sending inappropriate text messages to a teenage girl he met at work, including messages asking the girl if she went “wild” when she was drunk and they asked her to play truth or dare. .
Details of the allegations against Cpl. Dilbag “Dylan” Hothi, 26, is featured for the first time in redacted court documents obtained by Breaking: after successfully challenging a court-ordered seal preventing the files from being made public.
The officer was arrested and suspended after the investigation began last summer, but he was never criminally charged and the allegations were never proven in court. The criminal investigation was in its early stages at the time of his death in February.
After his death, the force confirmed that Hothi was the same officer suspended from active duty over breach of trust allegations. In seeking more information on the case, Breaking: learned that all court files on his case had been sealed from public view.
A judge ordered redacted versions of the documents released after a hearing on Thursday, ruling that the family’s privacy concerns were outweighed by Canada’s principle of open and transparent courts.
Hothi met a teenager while answering a call: statement
A Surrey RCMP investigator laid out the key allegations against Hothi in a signed affidavit in November. The document says the case began last August after the teen, then 15, showed Mounties her text messages with Hothi.
The girl told investigators that she met the police officer when she responded to a call to help her friend a few days earlier, according to the documents. She said that she exchanged numbers with Hothi so she could keep him updated on the whereabouts of her friend.
She said she told the officer she was 15 and he told her she was 26.
The girl told RCMP that she initially texted Hothi on her work number, but then asked him to text her on her personal phone.
She said that Hothi asked her to meet on two separate occasions over the next few days and at one point asked her if she goes “wild” after drinking alcohol.
hothi said [the girl] that he gets ‘wild and horny’ when he drinks,” the document said, citing the teen’s statement to RCMP.
Hothi and the girl finally made plans to meet around 10 or 10:30 p.m. 22:00
The girl went to the Surrey RCMP and showed them the texts that night, according to the documents.
Police later seized both of Hothi’s iPhones. An analyst who examined screenshots in September said the officer and the teen exchanged 40 text messages between Aug. 11 and 12, according to court documents. Another officer who reviewed the screenshots said Hothi sent the girl a photo of himself in sweatpants and a tank top.
Investigating officers from the Surrey RCMP also searched his police notebook, but returned it because it contained no evidence, according to the documents.
Hothi was later arrested and suspended with pay on August 17.
Six months later, on February 8, Hothi committed suicide at an indoor shooting range in Langley, about 50 kilometers southeast of Vancouver. He found out that the Surrey Police Service was going to issue a press release about him, the court heard on Thursday.
The Surrey Police Service (SPS) declined to comment on the open documents.
Previously, the SPS had only said that Hothi was suspended for an investigation related to breach of trust, a charge that can be brought if investigators believe a police officer committed an offense that violates his duties or position of trust in the police. society.
Surrey RCMP have refused to share details about the investigation and have not confirmed whether Hothi was about to be charged at the time of his death.
The force did not respond to a request for additional comment.
The family argues that the documents are not in the public interest
During Thursday’s hearing to open the documents, the family’s lawyer, Nathan Lidder, argued that the documents should remain sealed because the investigation was in its early stages at the time of Hothi’s death. He said the information would negatively affect the officer’s surviving family.
Lidder also emphasized that Hothi was never charged with any crime, noting that the officer no longer has an opportunity to defend the allegations.
“[The release to the public] would be an affront to the proper administration of justice,” Lidder said.
After listening to lawyers for both sides for about an hour and a half, the judge ordered the documents to be opened.
“I think the impact on the public purpose of privacy and dignity is outweighed by the principle of openness of the court,” Judge Jay Solomon told the court.
“In my view, the public purpose of the disclosure is best served if the information sought is disclosed.”
Hothi previously served with the Surrey RCMP and the Canadian Armed Forces.
BC police watchdog, the Independent Investigations Office (IIO), concluded in March that the RCMP’s response to the shooting range was not a factor in Hothi’s death.