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Update: RCMP Officer Convicted of Abuse and Sexual Torture of Son Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison

In December of last year, I posted about a Royal Canadian Mounted Police Officer who had been convicted of numerous abuse-related offenses after his son escaped from a makeshift dungeon he had created in the basement of his house. On Wednesday, that officer was sentenced to 15 years in prison for the torture he had infilcted against his son. Critics, including a group known as “Bikers Against Child Abuse,” complained that the sentence, which likely will amount to eight years at the most, was insufficient in light of the severity and nature of the crimes involved.

At the time of his arrest in 2013, that son was described as looking like “someone from a concentration camp movie.” Despite being eleven years old at the time, he weighed just 50 pounds and had scars on his body, including those consistent with someone who had been shackled at the wrists and ankles for an extended period of time. In addition to being starved, chained up, and physically abused, the child was also sexually tortured by having his genitals burned with a lighter. Ironically, the officer worked for the RCMP’s counter-terrorism unit.

After escaping from the basement where he had been confined, the officer’s son was spotted in nearby houses attempting to get water from the faucets within the yards. When one neighbor attempted to take him home, he collapsed from the effects of malnourishment. Ottawa Police Det. Johanne Marelic and other investigators described his condition when they first saw him as “unfathomable” and “difficult to comprehend.”

During court, the officer apologized for “being a monster” to his son and attributed his actions to PTSD resulting from having been abused himself. Although Justice Robert Maranger described the charges as “horrific” and the “worst kind of abuse” while stating that he didn’t believed the officer had shown any true remorse, he nonetheless indicated that he avoided giving him a much harsher sentence (prosecutors were seeking 23 years) due to the testimony from expert witnesses about his mental state and the contention that the abuse was caused by PTSD.

The officer was convicted of two counts of aggravated assault, one each of sexual assault causing bodily harm, unlawful confinement, assault and failing to provide the necessaries of life, plus several firearms offenses. In addition, the officer’s wife (and the prototypical evil stepmother of the child) was also convicted of assault with a weapon and failing to provide the necessaries of life, but received a sentence of just three years. The names of the officer and his wife have not been released publicly per a court order to avoid identifying the child who was victimized by them.

Local News Coverage

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Ottawa Cop Whose Son “Looked Like He Was In a Concentration Camp” Convicted of Child Abuse; Sexual Assault

A Canadian Mountie and his wife have been convicted of several abuse charges including sexual assault against the officer’s son. After running away, the RCMP officer’s son was found with severe signs of having been starved and physically abused by an Ottawa Police Constable. That constable, Cindy Cybulski, initially was planning to return the son to his father and step mother until the father began talking about how difficult it was to raise a child and how he had to resort to tying up and beating the 11 year old.

That prompted her to go and look at the boy, who earlier had collapsed while walking with a neighbor who was trying to take him back to the father’s house. In addition to visible signs of current physical abuse, the boy had scars indicating he had been locked up with chains on his wrists and ankles. He was also so malnourished that Const. Cybulski compared his condition that of someone from a concentration camp movie.

Via the National Post:

“It was like a concentration-camp movie. His chest was just bones — you could see every rib,” Cybulski said.

The boy also had gouges on his wrists and ankles from his chains.

The constable wept on the stand, saying “and a minute earlier I just wanted to give him back to his dad.”

Instead, the constable arrested the RCMP officer, who along with his wife, were found guilty on Nov. 21. The father and stepmom — whose names are under a publication ban to protect the identity of the boy — are awaiting sentencing for their crimes. (The father was convicted of assault, sexual assault, forcible confinement and failing to provide the necessities of life. The stepmom was found guilty of assault with a weapon and failing to provide the necessities of life.)

When the boy finally escaped from his family’s darkened Kanata basement — its windows were covered — he’d endured at least six months of starvation and torture. Weighing only 50 pounds, the boy was first seen trudging through knee-deep snow in backyards in search of water. One neighbour spotted him trying to draw water from his garden tap so he slid open the back patio door and filled up the starving kid’s water bottle and sent him on his way. That neighbour said the boy looked like a ghost.

The boy later showed up at another neighbour’s front door around suppertime looking to speak to her son. She told court that she hadn’t seen the boy in a year and a half.

He used to be “chubby, happy and full of energy,” she said. “He was completely changed. I couldn’t recognize him.”

The boy appeared nervous, she said, and fumbled for change from his pocket, offering it while asking if he could stay at her home for the night.

She started walking the boy back to his own home, but when the boy complained of back pain, her husband called the police.

That’s when Const. Cybulski showed up, and after coming sliver-close to reuniting the starving boy with his abusive father, she took an extra minute and spared a young boy from more torture down in a darkened Kanata basement.

I’ll give some credit to Const. Cybulski for eventually doing the right thing and arresting this Mountie and not go to far into criticizing her investigative skills by pointing out that she probably should have (and if it was any non-Hero would have) looked the kid over for a minute before the father gave her his heartbreaking story about how hard it was for him to raise a “problem child” without beating, chaining up, and sexually abusing him.

Of course, police are pretty well known for the enthusiasm with which they adhere to the old adage of “spare the rod, spoil the child.” In fact, the families of cops are at least four times as likely to be abused.

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