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Alleged teen sex assault victim launches lawsuit after Richmond Mountie bombarded her with inappropriate texts

B.C. government should be held accountable for former Richmond RCMP officer’s misconduct, suit alleges
Richmond RCMP car
Brian Eden, a former Richmond Mountie, was fired from the RCMP for sending hundreds of inappropriate text messages to a 17-year-old alleged sexual assault victim.

A young woman who received hundreds of inappropriate text messages from a Richmond RCMP officer investigating her alleged sexual assault case when she was 17, is now suing the B.C. government over the now-former Mountie’s misconduct.

In a notice of civil claim filed against the minister of public safety in B.C. Supreme Court on Dec. 9, the woman – identified only as Jane Doe in the suit – alleges that the provincial government failed to adequately investigate previous, credible complaints of sexual misconduct alleged against the Mountie, Brian Eden, who is also named as a defendant.

The court document claims the province should be held vicariously liable for Eden’s misconduct and accuse the ministry of wilful blindness, negligence, recklessness and/or breach of fiduciary duty.

“The Minister knew or ought to have known of the risk of harm to the plaintiff or other sexual assault complainants caused by Eden…but failed to take reasonable steps to prevent the harm,” the claim reads.

Eden was fired in 2017 after the RCMP’s conduct review board found that his decision to contact Doe via “sexualized text messages” was “fundamentally at odds with the duties he clearly knew he owed a 17-year-old sexual assault complainant.”

At the time of the incident, Eden was 40 years old.

Neither the provincial government nor Eden – whose current profession and whereabouts are unknown, according to the recently-filed court document – have yet filed a response to Doe’s claim.

‘Flagrant and outrageous’ misconduct

In the lawsuit, Doe claims she first came into contact with Eden in early 2015, after reporting to Richmond RCMP that she had been sexually assaulted by multiple men in December 2014.

Eden was part of the investigative team assigned to her case.

Doe says she first spoke to Eden on Jan. 8, 2015, when she phoned police to provide more information about the suspects who allegedly assaulted her.

But after that call, Eden initiated “a series of approximately 300 personal text messages” with Doe, which began with an invitation for coffee before escalating to include “sexually suggestive comments and sexually inappropriate photographs,” the claim reads.

According to the RCMP conduct board’s 2017 decision, the messages included telling then 17-year-old Doe “im a fan of yoga pants … hint lol,” “Don’t tell anyone but u have nice lips and nose lol,” calling her a “saucey little thing,” and repeatedly asking for photos of Doe.

The 2017 decision also revealed that Eden allegedly contacted another woman via text message, whom he had pulled over for speeding, asking if she wanted to meet for tea.

“The misconduct was flagrant and outrageous and caused harm to the plaintiff, and Eden knew or ought to have known that the kind of psychological harm suffered by the plaintiff was substantially certain to follow,” Doe’s lawsuit reads, which also states that Eden’s conduct was “morally repugnant.”

As a result, Doe suffered from “substantial harm,” according to the court documents, including post-traumatic stress disorder depression and anxiety; suicidal thoughts; difficulty trusting people, especially authorities; distorted thinking; lack of self-worth and low self-esteem. 

The claims have not been proven in court.

In an emailed statement, the ministry said it would be inappropriate to comment while the matter is before the courts.