VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Two local police officers who were detained in Cuba back in March, 2018 due to a charge of sexual assault have returned home to Canada.
Cst. Mark Simms of the Vancouver Police Department was acquitted of the charge in November. He had been accused of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old from Ontario who was vacationing in the same area.
The VPD has confirmed Simms is back home.
“We have been in touch with our member, who was detained in Cuba, and can confirm that he is back home. The member and his family have asked for privacy,” reads an emailed statement from Cst. Jason Doucette with the force.
Cst. Jordan Long of the Port Moody Police Department was held as a witness. The Port Moody Police Department confirms in a statement one of their officers is now home after he was acquitted in Cuba “regarding allegations of being an accessory to a sexual assault.”
“On January 4, 2019, the Port Moody Police Department learned that the prosecution’s appeal was rejected and the acquittal was upheld. The PMPD further learned that the court process in Cuba is now concluded, that the travel restriction for the Port Moody Police officer was lifted by the Cuban authorities, and that he was free to return to Canada. The Port Moody Police Department can confirm that he has since arrived safely in British Columbia,” reads a statement.
A post from the officers’ families to a Facebook support group also confirmed Long has returned to Canadian soil.
In the post, shared by Simms’ sister, Rebecca, the families say the prosecutor’s push for an appeal was rejected.
“Words cannot express our profound gratitude for all the support you have given us in so many different ways,” reads the statement.
A post made on Dec. 5, 2019 to a Facebook group called “Canadian cops FREED FROM Cuba: Support for Mark and Jordan” says Cst. Mark Simms of the Vancouver Police Department and Cst. Jordan Long with the Port Moody Police Department were on their way home. (Source: Facebook)
Rebecca adds the families are “touched and humbled” by the support they have received, adding “this ordeal has taken a terrible toll in so many ways and there are so many steps to go through before Jordan and Mark can be restored to normal life.”
Officers held for months after being acquitted
The two officers had been held in Cuba as prosecutors planned to appeal the unanimous verdict that acquitted them of sexual assault charges in November.
They were on vacation at Varadero, a resort city in Cuba, when they were charged.
– With files from the Canadian Press