A woman accused of leaking intimate photos of a Brandon Police Service candidate to senior members of the force during a hiring competition has now filed a motion to sue the force itself.
The accused — Terry Lynn Peters — is the defendant in a case filed in Brandon Court of Queen’s Bench by plaintiff Brittany Roque last year.
The lawsuit alleges that Peters distributed intimate images of Roque without her consent as an act of revenge after discovering the photos on her then-partner’s computer.
None of the allegations has been proven in court.
According to initial court documents, Roque said she took and sent intimate photos to Ryan Friesen, a BPS officer, during a three-month affair with him in 2015, under the pretense he would not share the photos and would destroy them if the relationship ended.
Peters, a former civilian employee with the BPS, allegedly found the photos and distributed them to senior members of BPS approximately a year later while Roque was in the middle of a hiring competition to become a police officer in Brandon at the time.
Roque is now a police officer in Rivers.
Peters initially denied distributing the intimate images, but said that if any distribution occurred, "it was for the public good and in the public interest," according to her statement of defence.
Peters then filed a third-party claim against Friesen as well as Devon LeBlanc, stating she had reason to believe the images were not private and claiming that both Friesen and LeBlanc possessed the intimate images of Roque, as well.
Peters stated in the claim that Roque’s intimate images were in Friesen’s possession "at all relevant times" and that LeBlanc "distributed these intimate images to other members of the Brandon police force, including Ryan Friesen."
In a statement of defence, Friesen said Peters hacked into his email account using her personal computer and took the images of Roque — which he believed had been deleted — without his consent.
LeBlanc has denied the allegations, and Friesen backed up LeBlanc’s claims in his statement.
"Friesen denies that Devon LeBlanc was ever in possession of the intimate images and further denies that LeBlanc distributed the images to him or other members of the Brandon police force," the statement read.
However, Peters filed a motion last month to drop her claim against LeBlanc.
In an affidavit, Peters said she initially believed LeBlanc had sent the intimate photos of Roque to Friesen because that’s what Friesen told her when she confronted him about the "hundreds of images of more than a dozen different women in various states of undress and intimacy" she found in his trash folder.
"It appeared, based on the number and volume of photos, that there was trading of photos likely going on between some individuals, and in particular it appeared evident that LeBlanc had provided photos of women to (Friesen)," Peters said in her affidavit. "I was not certain whether or not Ms. Roque’s photos were provided by LeBlanc but I believed it to be a credible allegation."
Peters said as soon as it became evident to her that LeBlanc had not been involved with the distribution of Roque’s photos she immediately requested to withdraw her claim that he was involved.
In the same motion dropping her claims against LeBlanc, Peters also expressed a desire to pursue a third-party claim against BPS, claiming she provided the intimate images only to them upon their request.
In another affidavit filed by Peters on Friday, she said she initially contacted Chief Wayne Balcaen to advise of the existence of the photos because she felt it was relevant to Roque’s background check in the hiring process.
Balcaen forwarded Peters’ report to Deputy Chief Randy Lewis, Peters said, who asked that she provide the images to him.
"I believe that because I was requested to provide the images from Brandon Police Service that I was obligated to provide these images and that it was lawful to do so. I therefore believe that if any damages are owed to Ms. Roque as a result of the images being provided to the Brandon Police Service, the Brandon Police Service should incur liability for the same," Peters said in her affidavit.
No one at BPS was available for comment by press time on Friday.
If BPS is not added as a third party, Peters is seeking to examine Lewis on the basis he has relevant information to her defence.
"It would be unfair to require the defendant to proceed to trial without having the opportunity to examine Lewis," the motion states.
Roque has also filed a motion to examine Lewis after evidence came forward suggesting Lewis may have had communications with Peters by telephone, text message, email and in person outside of what was previously disclosed.
In addition, Friesen filed a motion to strike the third-party claims against him on the grounds that, to his knowledge, the intimate images of Roque were deleted and that Peters went into his email without his consent and forwarded the images she found in the trash folder to herself.
When Friesen became aware of Peters’ actions and her intentions to share the images with BPS, he advised against the actions repeatedly, Friesen said in an affidavit, but she did not listen to him.
Friesen argued that Peters fails to raise a genuine issue against him that requires a trial, according to the motion.
Hearings for the motions filed are expected to be held in November.
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