Court hears testimony in case that alleges Vancouver police officer sexually assaulted colleague

The trial is underway for a Vancouver police officer charged with a sexual assault alleged to have happened in Whistler during the summer of 2019.

Surrey resident and police officer Jagraj Roger Berar, 51, faces one count sexual assault, which he denies.

Squamish RCMP said they received a complaint on July 19 and "immediately launched an investigation."

On the first day of the trial, the accuser testified, saying the incident occurred on the night of July 14.

She says a number of VPD officers were staying in Whistler during a golf tournament happening in the nearby town of Pemberton. The accuser, also a VPD officer, was not playing in the tournament, but decided to join several of her colleagues for a night in Whistler.

Once she arrived, she described a group of around eight officers who were drinking alcohol in a penthouse suite at the Pan Pacific Village Centre, rented by a close colleague of hers.

The group then had drinks at the hotel bar, and attempted to get into a nightclub in Whistler Village after midnight, but failed.

At that point, she says she and a few others went back to Berar’s hotel suite at the nearby Pan Pacific Mountainside Hotel. She alleged Berar made a drink for her that was too strong to finish. She says she then threw up in the bathroom, and returned to the living room to see the sofa bed had been pulled out, and everyone but Berar had gone to bed. At this point, the accuser says she blacked out, only remembering snippets of the night. However, she recalls her jeans being partially off and not knowing why. She also remembers Berar having oral sex with her without her consent.

The accuser told the court that although she was inebriated, she knew something was wrong and she needed to leave. She says she told Berar to stop, then she got dressed, and drove home to Squamish. That week, she filed a report with the Squamish RCMP.

The court was shown a video recording of a 35-minute meeting between the accuser and Berar at an East Vancouver coffee shop two months after the Whistler trip. The accuser asks Berar to help her “fill the gaps” of the night. Berar claimed the alleged victim nuzzled up to him on the sofa bed, which he took as a sign for sex. Berar is heard on the video saying he’s married, and the sexual encounter was a “one off.”

Berar denies the sexual assault allegation. He has been suspended from the VPD since 2019, and remains off of active duty pending the outcome of the trial, which is expected to wrap up later this week.