SURREY, B.C. — The Crown prosecution service says a former Vancouver police detective who worked on the force's counter-exploitation unit has been sentenced to 20 months in jail after kissing a teenage girl and a woman.
James Fisher pleaded guilty to two counts of breach of trust and one count of sexual exploitation, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 90 days in jail.
Before his arrest, he was a 29-year decorated veteran of the force and member of a team that investigates prostitution, criminal exploitation and child sex abuse.
His sentencing hearing heard that he kissed a 17-year-old girl on three occasions for up to 10 minutes and kissed a 21-year-old woman once.
Both complainants told provincial court in emotional victim impact statements that Fisher's actions shook their faith in police and triggered downward spirals in their lives.
The Crown had recommended 18 to 20 months in jail, while the defence had asked that Fisher serve his mandatory three-month sentence on weekends.
Defence lawyer William Smart did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the sentence.
The B.C. Public Prosecution Service says the sentence was handed down Tuesday in Surrey provincial court. Fisher was also sentenced to two years of probation after the jail sentence is served.
Fisher apologized at his sentencing hearing to the two young women, saying he is "embarrassed and ashamed" of his actions and he especially regrets causing the younger complainant to lose her faith in police.
"I know that she trusted me and for the rest of my life I'll regret that breach of trust,'' he said.
The court heard audio recordings of conversations with both complainants in which Fisher admitted to kissing them.
In one recording, he coached the teenage girl on what to tell an officer investigating his inappropriate behaviour. In another audio clip, he assured the 21-year-old woman that he hadn't told anyone about her involvement in a stabbing.
Smart told court that Fisher was simply counselling the teenager to tell the truth, and that Fisher thought the older complainant was just a witness to the violent crime.
Both complainants' identities are protected by a publication ban.
The woman who was 17 when Fisher kissed her told the court that his actions caused her to relapse with a drug addiction and drop out of school.
"Those memories are still some of the most painful ones of my life,'' she said in a video played in court. "It feels like the ultimate breach of trust from someone when I was most vulnerable.''
The Canadian Press