A Canadian fire chief has been convicted of sexual assaulting three of his subordinates in the fire station.
Robert Bennett, who was the fire chief of the Fort St. James Fire Department in British Columbia, was found guilty of three counts of sexual assault in the BC Supreme Court. He is to be sentenced next week.
Bennett, 51, was accused of groping and inappropriately touching Kirsten Rudolph, 46, Lisa Button, 48, and Joy Reierson, 46. According to the women, the chief’s bad behavior began back in 2007, but they only came forward in 2013.
The Prince George Citizen quoted B.C. Supreme Court Justice Glenn Parrett as saying that Chief Bennett had “effectively abandoned any pretense of effective leadership” and provided “little but a display of his intoxication and bad behaviour.” In rendering his decision, Judge Parrett rejected defense arguments that the women “colluded” in filing their complaints.