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The Saint John Law Courts building. Image: Brad Perry

Saint John Police Officer Has Assault Charge Dropped

By Brad Perry Jan 9, 2023 | 2:13 PM

A Saint John police officer accused of using excessive force during an arrest is no longer facing charges.

Const. Benaiah Sok had been charged with a single count of assault causing bodily harm.

But the Crown withdrew that charge on Monday, the Court of King’s Bench confirmed.

Sok previously elected to be tried by a judge and jury and was scheduled to stand trial from Feb. 13 to March 1.

He was initially charged in Dec. 2021 following an investigation by members of the Fredericton Police Force.

Saint John’s police chief requested the investigation after receiving a report of a member using excessive force while trying to make an arrest uptown in August.

“My client is relieved and thankful that the prosecutors reassessed their file based on the new evidence,” Nathan Gorham, Sok’s lawyer, said in an email.

Gorham said that new evidence “tended to prove that Officer Sok had proper grounds to arrest the individual in question and that the arrest was conducted in a reasonable fashion.”

Sok was previously reassigned to administrative duties, with no public contact, pending the criminal proceedings.

At the time of the charge being laid, the police force said an investigation under the Police Act would take place once the proceedings had concluded.

Staff Sgt. Sean Rocca, a spokesperson for the Saint John Police Force, confirmed Monday that the Police Act process will now resume.

“Constable Sok will remain assigned to administrative duties,” Rocca said in an email.


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