The ex-wife of a Penticton RCMP officer is alleging that he and his now ex-girlfriend harassed her in 2016. Gail McDiarmid has filed a civil suit seeking unspecified damages from Const. Martin Degen and Rachelle Blanchard. (Black Press file photo)

Ex-Penticton Mountie hit with lawsuit after pleading guilty to harassing fellow cop’s ex-wife

Rachelle Blanchard will be sentenced in Penticton court on Oct. 7

As a former Penticton RCMP officer awaits her sentencing after pleading guilty to harassing a former colleagues ex-wife, a civil lawsuit is also underway, documents have revealed.

According to the lawsuit filed by Gail McDiarmid in March 2019, she married Const. Martin Degen in 2010 and their relationship “completely broke down” in June 2018.

McDiarmid said in her lawsuit that between those dates, Degen entered into a relationship with now-former Const. Rachelle Blanchard in fall 2015, and in the months following she was the victim of harassment by both Degen and Blanchard.

In May 2018, Blanchard was criminally charged with one count of harassment, one count of fraudulent personation with intent to cause disadvantage and one count of mischief. At the time the charges were laid, she also ended her career with the RCMP.

She pleaded guilty in the Penticton court house in June 2019 to the harassment charge and is still awaiting sentencing. The case was adjourned by Judge Michelle Daneliuk on Sept. 9.

The civil court documents name both Blanchard and Degen as defendants, and allege that Blanchard first began harassing McDiarmid online and via text message around October 2016. The harassment escalated, the lawsuit claims, with Blanchard sending packages to the ex-wife’s home.

“The packages included children’s books entailing how to talk to your children about divorce, intimate clothing and lubrication. In addition, (Blanchard) would harass (McDiarmid) at her workplace by filing false complaints against (her),” court documents read.

McDiarmid also claims that Blanchard intentionally purchased a home located five properties away from her own in Summerland to “intimidate and further harass” her.

In her response to the lawsuit, Blanchard denies these claims and states that if McDiarmid was harassed by someone, it was done by person’s unknown to her or, alternatively, by Degen. She also added that she did not have knowledge of McDiarmid’s place of residence when she purchased her home in Summerland, and that she only did this to provide an affordable place for her and her children to live.

Blanchard is also accused of entering McDiarmid’s locked garage without her knowledge, leaving behind a set of keys in her vehicle that were later identified as potential keys to a gun locker.

READ MORE: Penticton RCMP have the busiest detachment in B.C.

The court documents also state that Blanchard impersonated McDiarmid on online dating sites, and even went as far to set up a date at McDiarmid’s residence without her knowledge.

“On one occasion, (Blanchard) sent a stranger to (McDiarmid’s) matrimonial home under the impression that he was going on a date with (her),” the documents allege. “(Blanchard) made (McDiarmid) fearful of being alone in her matrimonial home.”

Blanchard still claims her innoncence in respect to the other two charges levelled against her. Crown told Penticton Western News on Sept. 10 it’s expected that those charges will be stayed when the trial resumes on Oct. 7 for sentencing.

McDiarmid’s civil lawsuit also points to her former husband, Degen. The lawsuit claims that he provided Blanchard with personal information “in order for her to impersonate and harass” McDiarmid, and that he withheld their children’s belongings and caused incidents at their school.

Degen was charged under the Police Act for his actions regarding the harassment of McDiarmid, and, following an RCMP investigation, was cleared of any criminal charges or wrongdoings.

He also denies any wrongdoing, according to his filed response to the suit.

According to Sgt. Janelle Shoihet, Degen is currently on administrative leave with the RCMP but could not provide the date on which his leave started.

McDiarmid is seeking unspecified damages from both Blanchard and Degen due to psychological and emotional harm that has resulted in economic loss and “an erosion of safety for (McDiarmid) and her children.” She said that due to this ordeal, she has had to relocate and find new employment, as well as seek counselling.

None of the accusations have been proven in court.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.

Jordyn Thomson | Reporter
JordynThomson 
Send Jordyn Thomson an email.
Like the Western News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

RDOS to study sites for composting facility

Penticton and Okanagan Falls landfills will be examined

Summerland grocery store offers warm atmosphere, community service

Nesters Market has been involved in numerous initiatives within Summerland

Codling moths remain a problem for Okanagan apple growers

Problem areas for pest include Summerland, Penticton and Naramata

Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen works to control mosquito populations

Control efforts in the region have been starting earlier each year

Summerland Ladies Club competes for Rental Cup

One-day golf tournament sponsored by Summerland Rental Centre

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

One-in-five British Columbians think they’ll win big while gambling: study

Roughly 58 per cent of British Columbians bought at least one lottery ticket in past year

Okanagan hosts Mexico for soccer

The Okanagan Masters League won both matches against their Mexican counterparts

Epic overtime battle, big turnout for memorial night to late owner of Okanagan hockey team

The KIJHL’s Kelowna Chiefs hounoured Grant Sheridan with a win in the team’s home-opener

Takaya, B.C.’s infamous lone wolf, seen eating seal and howling away on Discovery Island

Fun facts about Takaya the wolf, like his a 36-hour tour around Chatham, Discovery Islands

Resident finds loaded shotgun inside a duffle bag in Kelowna alleyway

RCMP seized a loaded 12-gauge shotgun, ammunition, clothing and other items

Graffiti, calls and Snapchat: RCMP probe string of threats targeting Kamloops schools

There have been nine different threats made to four different schools in the city

Oak Bay father’s testimony at murder trial like plot of ‘bad low-budget movie:’ Crown

Crown alleged Andrew Berry’s ‘entire story of Christmas Day is a lie’

B.C. truck drivers to face higher fines for not using winter tire chains

As of Oct. 1, not using chains on the highway when required could net you a $598 ticket

Most Read