Lawsuit filed against Waterloo Regional Police over sharing of nude photos
Published Wednesday, July 3, 2013 3:55PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, July 3, 2013 6:29PM EDT
A former Kitchener man has filed a $900,000 lawsuit against the Waterloo Regional Police Service and three of its officers.
Matthew Waltenberry says the suit relates to a nude photo of him that was stolen by a police officer and circulated among the officer’s co-workers.
He had called police for assistance in February 2011, when the incident happened
Const. Christopher Knox, one of the three officers named in the lawsuit, pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice in this case in 2012.
Calling Knox’s actions “repugnant”, a judge sentenced him to a nine-month conditional sentence and 50 hours of community service.
Waltenberry says he’s like to see a harsher punishment meted out in retribution for what he calls an invasion of his privacy.
“It’s really hard to figure out what reason he did it for,” he said Wednesday.
Also named in the lawsuit is Jeff Vongkhamphou, who has pled guilty to attempting to destroy evidence by removing the photos from Knox’s locker, and a third officer, Matthew Vanderheide, who allegedly saw what was going on and did not report it.
“It’s one thing for an officer to commit an offence … but it’s another thing for officers witnessing the commission of an offence to not report it and to later cover it up. That points to a much broader problem,” said Davin Charney, Waltenberry’s lawyer.
Waterloo Regional Police Chief Matt Torigian says the police service will continue to discipline officers found guilty of wrongdoing.
“We are continuing to work through the internal disciplinary process, which involves in the most transparent way a public hearing on Police Services Act charges,” he said.
“It takes time … but what is most important in all of it is that as a police service and as police leaders we will address alleged transgressions.”
Since the incident, Waltenberry has moved from Kitchener to southeastern British Columbia.