Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Prosecutors Say Cop Cut Off Woman’s Clothes to ‘Punish, Humiliate’

Steven Desjourdy. Police portrait.

An Ottawa police sergeant has pleaded not guilty to a count of sexual assault stemming from an incident which took place four years ago. Sgt. Steven Desjourdy is accused of cutting off an arrested woman’s shirt and bra, and leaving her in a cell, with pants soiled, for three hours. Stacey Bonds, who had been arrested for public intoxication, is seen on a surveillance video shown in court being escorted into the jail. When she struggles against officers, a female officer is seen kicking her in the back of the leg and pulling her hair. Bonds is then brought down to the ground, and in the commotion, is seen striking the female officer. She’s then pinned to the floor by several officers as Desjourdy cuts off her top and bra.

According to prosecutor Tim Webb, Desjourdy’s conduct against Bonds was intended to ”punish, humilate and put (her) in her place” because she resisted and struck the female officer. Webb predicts the defense will argue that the clothes were cut off for the woman’s own protection, but says the event is a case of sexual assault: ”One may say there was no sexual motivation here – the officer wasn’t motivated by sexual gratification. Sexual assault isn’t a crime of passion, it’s a crime of power, dominance, aggression and violence.”

Bonds is humiliated by the incident and is not expected to testify. She issued a statement in which she said, ”I was clutching at the tattered remains of my clothes to cover my exposed, naked chest. I was very embarassed and absolutely humiliated to be partially naked in front of all the uniformed male officers.” She added that at one point during the struggle, she lost bladder control and was taunted by officers before being placed in the cell. She also denies being intoxicated at the time of the incident.

A very badly edited version of the video is available here.

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