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Trial dates set for GSPS officer facing discreditable conduct charges

Melisa Rancourt will face charges under the Police Services Act in August, after an incident at the Espanola Rec Centre in September of 2021 
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GSPS Const. Melisa Rancourt faces a discreditable conduct hearing following an altercation with OPP officers and staff at the Espanola Rec. Centre in September 2021.

At a fourth disciplinary hearing appearance for suspended Sudbury police constable Melisa Rancourt, trial dates were set for Aug. 10, 11, 12 and 25, almost one year from the incident that saw Rancourt facing charges after a Sept. 26 altercation at the Espanola Rec Centre. 

The first disciplinary hearing date was held March 2. 

Rancourt is currently facing charges of discreditable conduct under the Police Services Act. 

She had originally been charged with resisting a peace officer and two counts of entering a premises when entry has been prohibited, contrary to the Trespass to Property Act (TPA). Rancourt and her wife, Dana, refused to provide proof of vaccination to attend their child’s hockey game at the Espanola Recreation Centre, and 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.

Those criminal charges were withdrawn after Rancourt completed the John Howard Society’s Direct Accountability program.

The dates for the discreditable conduct trial were set during a call on May 2, with Rancourt and her attorney David Butt present, as well as retired Toronto Police Service Superintendent, Peter Lennox, prosecutor David Migikovsky, and Sgt. Neil McNamara, representing GSPS. 

When proposing the dates, Migicovsky said it was possible that not all dates will be needed, and the format, whether in person or virtual, will be determined on a call set previous to the trial’s opening on July 27 at 9:30 a.m. 

Butt said the wait would be beneficial to see if the trial would include witnesses, or if it would be only submissions, which would determine whether virtual or in-person would be best. He also suggested that there would be ongoing discussions with Migikovsky in the meantime.

Jenny Lamothe is a reporter with Sudbury.com. She covers the diverse communities of Sudbury, especially the vulnerable or marginalized, including the Black, Indigenous, newcomer and Francophone communities, as well as 2SLGBTQ+ and issues of the downtown core.