Police honoured for investigation into ex-Mountie accused of exposing himself; trial next month

Police in Vancouver were honoured for their role in investigating a former member of the RCMP ahead of his trial in June.

Fifteen police officers, two crime analysts and an investigational assistant were recipients of an award Monday from the Vancouver Police Department.

The award stems from an investigation that began three years ago.

Female students reported that a man in a car had exposed himself to them, and masturbated in front of them, as they walked to and from their Vancouver private schools in February 2019.

As described by the VPD in a document outlining this year's award winners, "The investigation became even more challenging when the suspect was identified as a police officer from another agency, who understood policing and investigative techniques, and could potentially access police reports and victim statements.

"Sex crime investigations are sensitive and heavily scrutinized, but none more so than those involving a police officer."

A suspect was identified and arrested. While not named Monday by the VPD, CTV News covered the case at the time.

Andrew James Seangio, a former member of the Richmond RCMP, was identified by police as their suspect.

The VPD said his electronic devices were seized and alleged that analysis uncovered "archived images and videos" taken in Ottawa between 2015 and 2017.

Police from Vancouver then went to the nation's capital and interviewed "numerous victims" in connection with the case. Officers said these people did not know they were being photographed or filmed.

The investigation resulted in 10 charges in Vancouver and 38 in Ottawa, none of which has been proven in court.

In light of the award presented Monday to the officers involved, CTV News Vancouver contacted the B.C. Prosecution Service for an update in the case.

The Crown said Seangio appeared in court last week for a pre-trial conference, and that his trial by judge and jury is set to begin on June 6.

His case involves 10 counts of committing indecent acts by exposing himself in a public place, in some case to young persons, a BCPS spokesperson said in an email. These are alleged to have occurred in Vancouver between August 2018 and March 2019, and include the allegations from the students mentioned above.

On a separate indictment, he is also charged with voyeurism in connection with incidents alleged to have happened between December 2016 and February 2018. This will be heard at a separate judge-and-jury trial on Sept. 9.

Both trials will be in Vancouver.

The officers awarded the chief constable's citation for their work on the case are: Supt. Alison Laurin; Insp. Dawn Richards; Sgt. Revard Dufresne; detective-constables Lianne Araki, Blake Chersinoff, Michelle Collins, Danielle Gauthier, Kerry-Anne Horgan, Eric Ludeman, Rob Mitchelson, Tania Visintin, Mason Wan, Stephanie Wightman and Alice Yee; Ottawa Police Det. Monique Paquette; crime analysts Linh Riddick and Ryan Villamin; and investigational assistant Angela Tang.

Several other members of the VPD were honoured at Monday's ceremony, including those who responded to a call that led to a fatal police-involved shooting at a Canadian Tire.

B.C.'s police watchdog, the Independent Investigations Office, looked into the shooting, but determined in 2019 that the case would not be sent on to Crown counsel for the consideration of charges. 

The shooting of a man who was previously known to police followed a confrontation with officers who'd been told a man dressed in camouflage stabbed a clerk and tried to steal guns. It is alleged that the man held an 82-year-old customer hostage and stabbed a police officer multiple times before he was shot.

The VPD also honoured civilians for their life-saving actions, including those of landscaper Matthew Coulson who climbed over a wall to get to a camper van when he heard people screaming.

Coulson, according to police, realized someone was trapped inside and rushed into the burning vehicle. He managed to rescue a woman who'd been inside, and made efforts to save a man who ultimately died in the April 2021 fire.