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Discreditable conduct case against GSPS officer adjourned once again

Sudbury Police constable Melisa Rancourt was arrested for resisting a peace officer and trespassing after refusing to show proof of vaccination at the Espanola Rec. Centre on Sept. 26
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Greater Sudbury Police Cst. Melisa Rancourt made a second appearance at a disciplinary proceeding on March 28, which was again adjourned due to the need to further examine the disclosure.

Rancourt made her first disciplinary appearance for discreditable conduct charges under the Police Services Act on March 1. The proceedings were adjourned to allow Rancourt to secure counsel and to review the disclosure.  

One of the discreditable conduct charges stems from Rancourt’s arrest on Sept. 26, 2021, when she refused to provide proof of vaccination to attend her child’s hockey game at the Espanola Recreation Centre. 

Witnesses told Sudbury.com Rancourt yelled and screamed, called bystanders “Nazis” and kicked a door while arguing with an OPP officer called by rec centre staff after the GSPS officer refused to show proof of vaccination.

Rancourt was arrested and charged with resisting a peace officer, and two charges of entering a premises when entry has been prohibited, contrary to the Trespass to Property Act (TPA). 

Her partner, Dana Rancourt, was also charged with trespassing in regards to the same incidents. You can read more about that incident here.

Rancourt has since completed the Direct Accountability Program through the John Howard Society, and because she has completed the program’s requirements, which include admitting to the crimes, two charges against Rancourt have now been officially withdrawn. 

A third charge, the remaining of the two trespassing charges, was dismissed upon payment of the fine by Rancourt. 

Because of her job as a police officer, Rancourt is also facing discreditable conduct charges under the Police Services Act after the aforementioned incident. 

While one count of discreditable conduct discussed at Rancourt’s first appearance on March 1 hearing was specific to the Sept. 26 incident, another count included a wider date range. 

Count one of discreditable conduct allegedly occurred on September 26, 2021, and count two of discreditable conduct is specific to September 2021 to January 2022. 

When asked about the nature of the second discreditable conduct charge, GSPS communications co-ordinator Kaitlyn Dunn told Sudbury.com previously that the date range refers to incidents that occurred during that time period, and the details would be shared during the disciplinary hearing dates. 

At the first appearance on March 1, Rancourt received a notice of the hearing and when asked, she attested to having the notice and understanding its meaning. When asked if she wished to enter a plea at that time, she declined. 

Since the Sept. 26 incident, Rancourt has been assigned administrative duties while her case worked its way through the court, and the disciplinary process. 

With two officers, both Rancourt and Cst. Thomas van Drunen facing disciplinary hearings, Sudbury.com wanted to know more about the investigation process. 

If you would like to learn more about how cases of police misconduct move through the system, click here.


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Jenny Lamothe

About the Author: Jenny Lamothe

Jenny Lamothe is a reporter with Sudbury.com. She covers the diverse communities of Sudbury, especially the vulnerable or marginalized.
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