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The RINJ Foundation - Rape is No Joke

An RCMP staff sergeant has filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against 13 former colleagues in the force's travelling equestrian show the Musical Ride, claiming she was sexually assaulted and harassed in the 1980s.

Staff Sgt. Caroline O'Farrell, 52, who works in Ottawa, claims she was sexually assaulted, assaulted and harassed from 1986 to 1987 while working as a constable.

Her ex-husband and their two children are also listed as plaintiffs, claiming $300,000 in damages under the Family Law Act for a loss of care and guidance from O'Farrell due to the alleged abuse.

The defendants are listed as Kevin Baillie, Gary Beam, Sylvain Berthiaume, Luc Boivin, Greg Chiarot, Francois Duguay, Marc Godue, Mike Herchuk, Cory Hoehn, David Kopp, Christine Mackie Windover, Gerry Ogilvie and Michael Roblee, as well as the Attorney General of Canada.


The statement of claim alleges O'Farrell was eventually transferred from the Musical Ride unit "against her will" because supervisors "couldn't guarantee her safety," and that an RCMP harassment investigation upheld her complaints.

"The final investigation concluded that there were over 100 incidents of harassment that had been substantiated. She was informed by the investigators that her complaint resulted in the largest internal investigation ever conducted in Ottawa," the statement of claim reads.

"However, the RCMP took no real or substantial action against the harassers as a result of its investigation. Some of the harassers received informal discipline (counselling and warnings); others received no form of censure at all. Most of her harassers continue to work in the RCMP today, some as high-ranking officers and others as senior non-commissioned officers in positions of significant influence and authority," the statement of claim reads.

O'Farrell was recently diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of her time with the Musical Ride, the statement says.

It alleges her marriage "deteriorated quickly," that she hasn't been able to have meaningful, long-term relationships with other men, and that her relationships with her children were also negatively affected.