The B.C. Supreme Court trial of a Canadian border guard accused of sexual assault while on the job in 2007 started this week.
Former Canada Border Services Agent (CBSA) David Johnson Greenhalgh is accused of strip-searching four women at the Peace Arch/ Douglas border crossing and touching their breasts and pubic areas, according to testimony offered at the trial.
Shakila Manzoor, spokeswoman for the CBSA, said she could not comment on the matter because it is currently before the courts. She did confirm Greenhalgh no longer works for the CBSA.
Greenhalgh, who is charged with three counts of sexual assault and one count of breach of trust by an officer, allegedly stripped-searched the first woman on May 26, 2007, contrary to CBSA regulations.
CBSA rules say strip searches can only be performed when there are at least two guards present who are the same sex as the person being searched.
Greenhalgh allegedly questioned the 18-year-old woman for more than an hour about smuggling drugs and told her she either needed to submit to a strip search or be confined to a holding cell.
Greenhalgh allegedly conducted the strip search in a men’s public restroom for the disabled, where he allegedly patted the woman down around her breasts and pubic area after telling her to remove her clothes, one item at a time.
After the woman was released, her mother entered a complaint, which started a RCMP investigation. During the investigation, two other women, a 19 and a 20-year-old, came forward and revealed Greenhalgh had strip-searched them and touched them in a similarly inappropriate manner while they were traveling across the border together on April 13, 2007.
A fourth woman said she had also been strip searched, but had not been touched by Greenhalgh.
On Tuesday, a former coworker of Greenhalgh’s testified that she had assisted in seizing a tablet of ecstasy from one of the women who accused Greenhalgh of sexual assault on April 13, 2007.