Ottawa RCMP staff sergeant has been docked 10 days pay after his boss learned he had used his office at headquarters to stage and videotape a striptease, in which he took his uniform off and then performed sexual acts in front of a web camera, the Ottawa Citizen has learned.
On a number of occasions from January 2006 to March 2010, RCMP Staff Sgt. Ronald Matthews used a police-issued computer to download, view and store adult pornographic material.
Matthews has admitted to disgraceful conduct, an internal charge under the RCMP Act. He used his work computer to watch porn on and off duty, and his RCMP-issued BlackBerry to send sexually explicit messages to his then girlfriend.
A Mountie for more than 30 years, Matthews also sent her the striptease video that he made after-hours at the force's national headquarters in Ottawa.
"In this video, S/Sgt. Matthews, while partially dressed in his RCMP uniform, is seen performing a striptease, exposing his genitals and performing sexual acts. This was done (in his office) and outside of normal working hours," according to RCMP internal affairs documents.
"St. Sgt. Matthews admits that he used RCMP IT equipment to record sexually explicit materials and that he engaged in sexual activity at his workplace," senior Mounties wrote in a disciplinary ruling dated Sept. 12.
Matthews, stationed at headquarters in the Explosive Disposal and Technology Section, was going through a bad separation with his wife and "fell into this tumultuous long-distance relationship," RCMP documents say.
At a disciplinary hearing in Ottawa in August, Matthews expressed remorse and said he was embarrassed. Matthews was given the most severe penalty short of dismissal.
"The force, as an organization, cannot tolerate the downloading, storing and viewing of pornography on our computer systems and sending videos of oneself performing sexual acts, albeit to a willing recipient, is such flagrant misbehaviour that it must be considered with the utmost of seriousness," the RCMP disciplinary board said.
"The member sincerely apologized and regretted his actions. He indicated the embarrassment he has caused the force and deeply feels the shame he has brought upon himself," reads the internal affairs file.
The disciplinary board noted that Matthews had an exemplary record of service for more than 31 years, and is an officer who is respected by both his peers and bosses.
The disciplinary board said Matthews was highly skilled and focused, and that a health services officer has found him "fit for duty."
"The board has accepted that this was a huge error in judgment, however, a strong message must be conveyed that this behaviour is unacceptable," the RCMP disciplinary board concluded.
Matthews did not return a telephone message on Wednesday.