Voyeurism charges dropped against high-risk sex of­fender

In­ves­ti­ga­tion showed ac­cused was not in the city at the time, pros­e­cu­tor says

Calgary Herald - - CITY+REGION - KEVIN MARTIN Kmartin@post­media.com On Twit­ter: @Kmart­in­courts

Voyeurism charges have been dropped against high-risk sex of­fender Kee­gan Troy Spearchief af­ter fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion es­tab­lished he was in Leth­bridge at the time of the crimes.

Spearchief was ar­rested in con­nec­tion with an in­ci­dent in which an in­di­vid­ual was seen look­ing into the bed­room win­dow of a 12-yearold girl while com­mit­ting a sex act.

He spent three weeks in cus­tody be­fore his re­lease.

Pros­e­cu­tor Richelle Frei­heit told pro­vin­cial court Judge Mike Dinkel on Fri­day there was in­suf­fi­cient ev­i­dence to pro­ceed with charges against Spearchief of voyeurism and tres­pass­ing at night.

Out­side court Frei­heit said a fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion de­ter­mined Spearchief was out­side the city when the al­leged of­fences oc­curred.

“As Cal­gary po­lice con­tin­ued their in­ves­ti­ga­tion, the ev­i­dence wasn’t adding up,” Frei­heit said.

“With sub­se­quent in­ves­ti­ga­tion they were able to de­ter­mine that Spearchief was ac­tu­ally in Leth­bridge around the tim­ing of the of­fences.”

Spearchief ’s lawyer, In­grid Hess, said she was in the process of es­tab­lish­ing al­ibi ev­i­dence for her client based on in­for­ma­tion he was in Leth­bridge at the time.

“I’m glad she did the right thing and with­drew the charges,” Hess said by phone from her Leth­bridge of­fice af­ter her client’s case was dealt with in court.

“The ev­i­dence against him con­sisted of one im­age of what ap­peared to be a male per­son that was taken at night by some kind of sur­veil­lance cam­era and it showed the pro­file, the side view of that per­son’s face,” Hess said.

“The per­son was wear­ing a cap. You can’t iden­tify what race the per­son is, it looks like a male, but it could be a fe­male, too,” she said. “That was the ev­i­dence they had.”

But while one in­di­vid­ual sug­gested the im­age looked like Spearchief, lead­ing Cal­gary po­lice to is­sue a war­rant for his ar­rest, Hess said there was am­ple ev­i­dence it wasn’t her client.

“Kee­gan had been liv­ing in Leth­bridge for months ... He was ac­cess­ing so­cial ser­vices here in Leth­bridge.”

Hess said she took on the case be­cause a so­cial as­sis­tance group for In­dige­nous peo­ple in Leth­bridge called the Sage Clan in­di­cated Spearchief could not have been in Cal­gary.

“They were aware that Kee­gan was stay­ing down here in Leth­bridge and didn’t even have the means to get up to Cal­gary and he had been at­tend­ing all these var­i­ous so­cial agen­cies like the Food Bank.”

She said other agen­cies con­firmed Spearchief was in the south­ern Al­berta city through­out the time.

“Var­i­ous peo­ple in the com­mu­nity, in­clud­ing Sage Clan mem­bers, had seen him re­peat­edly through­out that pe­riod that was in ques­tion here,” she said.

“There are no buses go­ing to Cal­gary right now so how would he have even got­ten up to Cal­gary and then got back here to be at these so­cial agen­cies?”

Hess said as an In­dige­nous man, Spearchief, 34, was an easy tar­get for a false al­le­ga­tion.

“Some­body told the po­lice when they saw that pic­ture, ‘Well that looks like Kee­gan Spearchief,’” she said. “Based on a re­ally crappy photo.”

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