Kevin Johnston, pictured here when he was a B.C. deputy sheriff. He has since resigned from the sheriff’s service. —Image: file photo.

Former Kamloops deputy sheriff caught in vigilante sting gets one-year conditional sentence

Kevin Johnston pleads guilty to one count of breach of trust, three sexual charges dropped

A former Kamloops deputy sheriff caught in a 2016 Creep Hunters sting will serve a one-year conditional sentence with four months house arrest.

Kevin Johnston, 50, was arrested after he travelled to Kelowna from his then home in Kamloops to attempt to arrange a potential sexual encounter with someone posing online as a 14-year-old girl.

He will serve his sentence at his home on Vancouver Island, where he now lives.

The sentence, for one count of breach of trust by a peace officer, was handed down Tuesday in Kelowna provincial court by judge Michelle Daneliuk and came after lengthy negotiations between Crown and defence lawyers.

Three original charges of communicating with a person believed to be underage for the purpose of facilitating a sexual offence, as well as one count of invitation to sexual touching, were dropped. In the end, he pleaded guilty to breach of trust by a peace officer in connection with his high-profile arrest in 2016 in Kelowna following a vigilante sting operation.

Outside court, Johnston’s lawyer Jeremy Jansen said the decision was expected given that it was a joint submission by defence lawyers and Crown Counsel.

“He’s pleased to have this behind,” said Jansen of his client, noting Johnston plead guilty to just single lesser count charge, not to any sexual charges.

“Those were all dropped,” he added.

RELATED: Former Kamloops sheriff caught in sex-related sting pleads guilty to lesser charge

Johnston was employed in Kamloops as a deputy with the B.C. Sheriff Service when he was arrested.

According to an earlier agreed statement of facts filed in court, Johnston began communicating online with an adult woman portraying herself as a teenager as part of a vigilante group, Creep Hunters, aimed at exposing potential sexual predators online.

“In the month of August 2016, at a time when he was serving as a sheriff, Mr. Johnston engaged in a series of communications with Jennifer Carter,” the document states. “Those communications are the subject matter of the case before the court. Mr. Johnston engaged in those communications while off-duty, but invoked his status as a sheriff and peace officer.”

According to the document, Carter was portraying a girl named “Steph” when she began communicating with Johnston.

“In those communications, Mr. Johnston turned the conversation to sex,” the agreed statement of facts reads. “He sent two pictures of his penis and a full-frontal nude shot to Steph. He told her that he was a sheriff in Kamloops and sent photographs of himself in uniform and pictures of himself in the locker room at work.”

The messages began on Aug. 8, 2016, and concluded less than three weeks later, when Johnston drove from Kamloops to Kelowna to meet a person who he thought was Steph.

Johnston was confronted by members of Kelowna Creep Hunters at a strip mall where he thought he would be meeting Steph. The confrontation, on Aug. 27, 2016, was videotaped and posted online.

Carter contacted Kelowna Mounties and gave a statement about her interactions with Johnston and described how the conversations turned sexual in nature.

“OMG ur a cop?” Carter, as Steph, wrote on Aug. 9, 2016.

Johnston replied: “I am a sheriff! You should not have sex just to keep up with the other girls!! Your first time should be with someone special.”

Johnston’s conduct violated the Deputy Sheriffs’ Code of Conduct, the court heard last month, which prohibits a deputy from using his or her position to advance “private interests” and becoming “engaged in any activity that may result in criminal charges or convictions.”

Johnston had been employed as a deputy sheriff for 12 years at the time of his arrest. He was suspended after the allegations were made public and resigned within a week.

Special prosecutor Brock Martland and defence lawyer Jeremy Jensen pitched a joint submission for sentence, which would see Johnston placed on four months of house arrest.

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

‘I’m very, very lucky to be doing what I do’

Photographer Boomer Jerritt brings Antarctica to Timberline Theatre Jan. 29

Strong winds up to 100 km/h for parts of Vancouver Island

Wind warning in effect for north, east and west Vancouver Island into Saturday morning

Campbell River resident asking for bottles and cans to help Island stabbing victim

Janelle Guyatt suffered serious injuries during a May 2016 knife attack

RCMP’s use of force in arrest of Island man not excessive, judge rules

Campbell River man high on cocaine led high speed chase through city’s downtown

VIDEO: U.S. Congress to probe whether Trump told lawyer Cohen to lie

At issue is a BuzzFeed News report that about negotiations over a Moscow real estate project

Rookie Demko backstops Canucks to 4-3 win over Sabres

Young Vancouver goalie makes 36 saves to turn away Buffalo

Charges upgraded against mother of murdered B.C. girl

Kerryann Lewis now faces first- rather than second-degree murder in the death of Aaliyah Rosa.

UPDATE: Injured firefighter in stable condition

Kelowna fire crews responded to a blaze at Pope’sGallery of BC Art & Photography on Friday

Rare ‘super blood wolf moon’ takes to the skies this Sunday

Celestial event happens only three times this century

Arrest made after historic B.C. church hit by arson

The fire at the 150-year-old Murray United Church in Merritt was considered a possible hate crime

B.C. dangerous offender in court for violating no-contact order, sends letter to victim

Wayne Belleville was shocked to see a letter addressed to him from his shooter, Ronald Teneycke

Man blames his loud car radio, sirens for crash with B.C. ambulance

Tribunal rejects bid to recoup ICBC costs after crash deemed 100-per-cent his fault

Ferry from Port Hardy to Bella Coola expected to set sail this summer

Its first in-service route will sail in central coast waters on May 18, 2019.

Most Read