Documents reveal Sean Chu admitted to 'consensual' sexual acts with teen girl while a Calgary police officer
CTV News has obtained internal documents that outline details of a sexual encounter incumbent Ward 4 Coun. Sean Chu had with a minor while he was a police officer with the city.
According to the transcript of a disciplinary hearing, it was alleged that "on or about Aug. 12, 1997, Const. Chu became intimately involved with the young person who was 16 years old at the time,” and she had met him, “while he was on duty, in uniform, and in a position of authority.”
He was 34 years old at the time and admitted to “caressing” the girl on the leg in a public restaurant while in uniform. And then while off-duty and not in uniform, he told the hearing he “participated in consensual sexual foreplay” with the girl in the living room of his home.
“In fact, Const. Chu relayed intimate details as to the sexual extent of this personal contact,” according to the transcript.
And to that, the presiding officer, Insp. D. Middleton-Hope, said, “I find Const. Chu to be forthright in his description of the details and I find his evidence to be believed.”
No criminal charges were laid, but according to two Law Enforcement Review Board (LERB) decisions, Chu was investigated by CPS’ professional standards section for allegedly bringing the girl into his home in those early morning hours 24 years ago, and for alleged misconduct in his actions with the girl. The documents also reveal that the teen alleged Chu sexually assaulted her.
Chu, who served as a member of CPS from 1992 to 2013, was charged with two counts of discreditable conduct and was convicted of one count. The internal documents state that the conviction was in relation to him touching the girl’s leg. He was given a letter of reprimand on his CPS file for five years, which expired in 2008.
At the time the presiding officer, Insp. Middleton-Hope said this action is a “sufficient sentence.”
“This will have significant impact on his ability to seek lateral transfers and restrict his promotional opportunities during that time,” Middleton-Hope said.
In a statement to CTV News on Monday, Chu maintains he did not know the girl was underage saying, “in 1997 when I was 34 years old, I met a woman at a licensed establishment where all persons are required to be 18 years of age or older and show identification. A witness confirmed Mr. Chu’s account of the facts and an internal hearing found that her allegations were without merit.”
However, information obtained by CTV News indicates that the girl was not at an 18-plus licensed establishment, but that she was at a restaurant called the Husky House and Chu was only there at the request of another officer to drive the girl home when he touched her leg. CTV News has learned that instead of dropping her off at her home, he took her to his home where the girl alleged he sexually assaulted her and where she alleged Chu pulled out his Calgary Police Service handgun.
Furthermore, according to information obtained by CTV News, Chu had met the girl during an unrelated police investigation when she was 14 years old, two years before the sexual encounter.
The LERB documents from 1999 also show that the girl had been appealing the matter over the course of nine years. She had filed a complaint against the officers who investigated her allegations, claiming there was misconduct and a “general coverup.”
One of the complaints was that she agreed to a polygraph test but when she called two days before the scheduled date and time, it was cancelled without reason and never rebooked by CPS. The decision in the document from 1999 indicates her complaints against the officers were dismissed.
Calgary police released a statement today, responding to its investigation in 1997. It states:
“We want to reassure Calgarians that when this matter came to light in 1997 it was taken seriously by the Service and managed in accordance with the Police Act. This has been a complex legal matter with multiple complaints and investigations as well as appeals to the Alberta Law Enforcement Review Board. One of those decisions was overturned by the Alberta Court of Appeal. Ultimately, one allegation of misconduct was sustained through our internal disciplinary process."
The internal documents also address the fact that there was concern Chu was using his position as a police officer for his advantage, calling it “disturbing in the evidence presented by Constable Chu was his readiness to use police business cards, police pagers and his police appeal to enhance his off-duty personal life.”
In a statement to CTV, Chu states that during the investigation he underwent a polygraph test, at his request, which confirmed his account. He says, "It is not unusual for police officers to be subject of unsubstantiated complaints, but a complete and thorough process was conducted which found this complaint to be without merit.”
Chu’s statement also says he has contacted the Calgary Police Association to obtain the documents and was advised on Oct. 12 that their records were destroyed in the 2013 Calgary flood.
He says he believes that the timing of the circulation of the documents of the allegations is suspicious given it is coming out right before a municipal election where he will be seeking a third term as the Ward 4 councillor.
“The alleged incidents date up to 24 years ago and were resolved at the time,” he wrote. “It is no coincidence that the files documenting those allegations have been publicly posted just days before an election, and that the Law Enforcement Review Board (LERB) dating back to 2006 were posted on the same day.
“The timing of the release, literally decades after both matters were resolved, is motivated by politics and not by justice."
Some documents related to the case surfaced on social media last week, prompting various media reports.
Asked about the issue after being declared as Calgary's mayor-elect, Joyti Gondek said this is something the next council will have to deal with "immediately."
Gondek did not elaborate on what action council might take.
Calgary Nose Hill MP Michelle Rempel-Garner also issued a statement Monday evening.
"I have supported Mr. Chu in the past but firmly withdraw all such support in light of these reports," it read in part. "Believing women means walking the talk."