Hamilton Human Trafficking Detective Accused of Sexual Misconduct

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A round up of articles about Derek Mellor, a sergeant with the Hamilton Police Services, who is accused of multiple sexual misconduct charges under the Police Services Act.

Mellor’s hearing is on Monday, February 24th at 9am at the Hamilton Police station on King William Street.  The public is able to attend the hearing.

From CBC Hamilton’s June 19, 2013 article:

A Hamilton police sergeant who led the service’s human trafficking unit is facing multiple sexual misconduct charges, which have been laid under the provincial Police Services Act.

Sgt. Derek Mellor, a 14-year veteran with the Hamilton police, is alleged to have engaged in, or attempted to engage in, sexual activity with various witnesses, potential witnesses and other individuals involved in his investigations.

Mellor is also alleged to have sent photographs and videos of a sexual nature to victims’ services workers whom he met while working as a human trafficking investigator.

Documents provided to the CBC state that Mellor used his “character and position as a member of the Hamilton Police Service for private advantage.”

Mellor has been suspended since late last year, when the allegations surfaced.

In total, Mellor is accused of nine counts of discreditable conduct, one count of insubordination and one count of corrupt practice for incidents that are alleged to have occurred between May 2011 and November 2012.

Two of the counts allege Mellor engaged in an inappropriate sexual relationship with a witness or potential witness.

From The Hamilton Spectator on January 10, 2013:

A 19-year-old former sex worker who is a witness in a human trafficking case has accused the lead Hamilton police investigator of an inappropriate sexual relationship with her. Those allegations have led to an ongoing internal investigation and fears among advocates that criminal cases may now be tainted.

CHCH TV’s coverage from June 19, 2013:

The charges he is facing range from two counts of engaging in sexual activity with women who were potential witnesses, charges of sending pictures and a video of a sexual nature to those same witnesses and members of victim services; also having an inappropriate relationship with a human trafficking investigator.

From The Hamilton Spectator’s February 10, 2013 article:

Mellor was facing nine charges of discreditable conduct and one count each of insubordination and corrupt practices. Eight of those charges revolve around sexual activity with witnesses, attempting relations with a potential witness and sending sexual material to witnesses. The former vice and drugs officer had pioneered a much-publicized human trafficking unit pilot project, paid for by a provincial grant. The unit was not continued past its pilot stage.

According to documents filed with the hearing officer, Mellor now faces an additional pair of insubordination charges over allegations he failed to file supporting paperwork (reports, notes and a brief for the Crown prosecutor) in relation to two arrests he made in May and June of 2011. The effect those alleged failures had on the cases involved is not publicly known at this point.

In a further twist, Visentini asked that the two new charges be “adjourned sine die” — suspended — saying a decision on proceeding with those charges would be made following the disposition of the first 11 charges laid against Mellor.

From The Hamilton Spectator’s  February 14th, article community activists organized a rally and march in Hamilton:

“I want to stand behind the women that I think police take advantage of. I think the police abuse their authority,” said Debroah James, 40. “There’s an imbalance of power in the relationship between police and marginalized women.”

James works with a local agency that helps sex trade workers. She says some of these women are more afraid of the police than they are of johns, and therefore avoid going to them when they need help.

No one in the crowd would identify themselves as an organizer of the event, and the woman who started the rally wouldn’t give her name. She said she was afraid of the police and is employed — and some agencies are not comfortable with employees who speak out against police.

Signs in the crowd read “Strip searches = sexual violence,” “Who do you serve, who do you protect” and “This is a culture, stop police sexual violence.”

Supporters marched down Main Street in the two right lanes alongside traffic. Mounted police and members of the Action Team followed them along their route to the police station on King William Street to maintain a peaceful protest while people chanted and handed out pamphlets.

On behalf of Chief Glen De Caire, Hamilton police spokesperson Catherine Martin emailed a statement that said “we respect the right for a peaceful demonstration.”

She wouldn’t comment on Mellor or any matter before the Police Services Act Tribunal, but did say in any case of serious misconduct, the position of the administration has been consistent in seeking dismissal.

— compiled by erin

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