Mountie gets community sentence for assaulting girl, breach of trust

By Hina Alam, The Canadian Press

SAINT JOHN, N.B. — A New Brunswick RCMP officer found guilty of assaulting a 16-year-old girl who he was hoping to marry has been given a two-year sentence to be served in the community.

Osama Ibrahim, 29, was convicted last month of assault, breach of trust, choking during an assault and carrying, using or threatening to use a weapon during an assault. He was acquitted of a sexual assault charge.

Provincial court Judge Kelly Winchester on Friday sentenced Ibrahim to house arrest for the first nine months to be served at his sister’s house in Quebec, though he is allowed out of the house for work and once a week between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. to perform personal errands. After the first nine months, Ibrahim is no longer subject to a curfew but he cannot contact the victim or her family.

“I realize that whatever sentence I impose today will probably not satisfy the hearing,” the judge said. The Crown had asked for a sentence of 12 to 15 months in jail, while the defence asked that the time be served under house arrest.

Earlier, as Winchester laid out her reasons for the sentence, Ibrahim looked down at the floor and shook his head briefly from side to side.

Reading parts of the victim impact statement, Crown prosecutor Christopher Lavigne said the girl has been dealing with depression and is unable to get back to school.

“She says her trust in people, especially the police, has been compromised, and she no longer feels safe around authority,” he said.

The family ran a business in the Saint John, N.B., area but had to close it because the victim, who helped out with its operation, could no longer work after the assault.

Ibrahim was a relatively new RCMP officer and in his first posting in Woodstock, N.B., when he met the victim and her family in June 2021. The following January, the court heard, Ibrahim asked the family for the 16-year-old’s hand in marriage.

The mother said the victim was too young to get married and asked the accused to wait until she was at least 19 or 20. The parents agreed that Ibrahim should get to know their daughter.

The court heard during the trial that Ibrahim agreed to the arrangement, and began visiting the family at their home and at their business when he was off duty, or by taking overtime shifts in a nearby detachment.

The victim had a “romantic interest” in Ibrahim at the beginning of the relationship, the court heard. But as the relationship progressed, the victim described being grabbed by the accused, handcuffed and hit.

On one occasion, the judge said when she found him guilty in December, the victim said Ibrahim handcuffed her without her consent. “He kept going very, very tight,” the victim testified. Another time, the victim was hit with a baton “although not hard.”

The judge said videos entered as testimony showed the use of force was “blatant” and the action was not fun or playful. “This is not the behaviour of getting to know one another in these videos,” Winchester said. 

Ibrahim is seen hitting the victim, and after the assaults he would say he was “only joking” but she did not take these actions as a joke, the judge said.

At the sentencing hearing, Ibrahim asked the court for “mercy.” He told the court he wanted to apologize to everyone, including the family.

“I would love for the public to have trust in the police officers,” he said. “I lost my job, I had to resign. I’m completely destroyed.” His lawyer said he resigned from the RCMP last week, and the resignation takes effect Feb. 5.

Winchester asked him if he had anything else to say, and he again offered an apology to the family. Only the victim’s father was present in the courtroom.

“I would love to tell them that I’m sorry. I never meant to hurt anybody. I’m so sorry about that,” he said.

The judge had a message for the victim’s father and his family: “I wish you all well in your healing process,” she said. “I have no doubt that the impact of this case will take years to heal.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26, 2024.

Hina Alam, The Canadian Press

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