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Details released in public report on sexual misconduct of former Airdrie RCMP officer, lacrosse coach

The text messages show how former Airdrie RCMP officer Daniel Martin attempted to initiate a sexual relationship with a then-16-year-old.
More details have been published revealing the grooming texts sent by former Airdrie RCMP officer Daniel Martin to a 16-year-old girl he coached lacrosse with.

New details, including 29 text messages exchanged between a former Airdrie RCMP officer and a minor – which led to his forced resignation in May 2020 – have been released.

The text messages show how Cst. Daniel Martin, who was a 40-year-old lacrosse coach at the time, attempted to initiate a sexual relationship with a then-16-year-old lacrosse assistant coach, whose identity is protected by a publication ban. 

The RCMP Conduct Board Decision from Sept. 24, 2021 – details and transcripts of which have recently been made public – outline that the minor was instructed by Martin to conceal the inappropriate nature of the text messages they exchanged in May and June of 2019 by deleting them.

“He told me not to tell anyone that we were texting each other, that he was texting me,” the minor told the conduct board, adding that the text messages could be perceived as inappropriate. 

“He told me to delete all messages, I have messages on my phone though, I just deleted the previous one because that’s what I was told to do.”

Cst. Martin did not provide a copy of the text messages, and the minor deleted the messages on her “old IPhone 6,” dated from mid-May to June 8, 2019.

However, the minor provided a copy of approximately 29 text messages sent from June 9, 2019, to June 28, 2019, from her “new IPhone 8” that she did not delete.

Josée Thibault, who presided over Martin's Conduct Board Hearing and Decision, wrote that Martin would turn an innocuous text conversation into something inappropriate.

Thibault noted how the minor mostly only messaged Martin when she needed information about an upcoming practice or game, and often wouldn’t reply to inappropriate texts.

“Also, the evidence confirms that several text message conversations ended in highly inappropriate and unnecessary comments on the part of Cst. Martin, given [the minor]’s young age,” Thibault wrote.

On one occasion, Martin allegedly touched the minor’s thigh while they were coaching a game together, according to the minor's statement. 

Thibault reasoned the physical contact was accidental, as the minor had a hard time explaining the touch but said she felt his hand brush against her thigh. In her testimony, she confirmed that it only happened once and that she could not remember when during the season it occurred. Martin said he did not remember this incident during his testimony.

The conduct board's decision stated Martin’s behaviour was predatory as he was actively attempting to groom the minor for his own personal sexual gratification.

Martin was in a position of authority over the minor and an adult mentor to her, and he was aware of her young age, the decision stated.

“Given the nature of the established allegation, I simply cannot justify retaining Cst. Martin as a member of the RCMP,” Thibault concluded.

According to the transcript of the text messages, around May 20, 2019, the minor attended a lacrosse practice visibly upset following an argument with her mother. Martin spoke to her to offer support and said she could contact him at any time if she wanted to talk or needed advice.

Following that conversation, Martin started to send text messages to her for a period of approximately six weeks. 

“Some text messages were sent when he was on duty but the majority of them were sent while he was off-duty,” the document reads.

Many text messages were sent between the parties, but Thibault focused on two. The first one was sent by Martin asking the minor about her school day. It was raining and he introduced in the chat a sexualized comment about wearing a white t-shirt.

The minor responded with two laughing emojis, and later told the conduct hearing she did not want to engage with words. Martin, in his text, replied that he shouldn't have made the remark, but that 'it's hard not to tho.' He also said he knew he walked “the line of being offside.”

The text messaging ended on June 28, 2019, when the girl's mother read the text messages on her daughter’s I-Watch, which she would occasionally review. Disturbed and alarmed by the content of the text messages, the mother took screenshots of the messages and sent copies to her close friends looking for advice.

On June 30, 2019, her mother filed a complaint with the RCMP against Cst. Martin, claiming he was making unwanted sexual advances toward her daughter.

Martin was suspended from coaching duties by the Lacrosse Association Discipline Director on July 1, 2019. 

“Even if there was no physical contact, the incident had a lasting adverse psychological and emotional impact on [the minor] and her mother, who testified that she blamed herself for not being able to protect her daughter,” read the conduct board's decision.

The minor explained that she did not leave the house for almost a year as she was afraid of being confronted by Martin. She also could not sleep alone at night for several months, started to have panic attacks, and stopped driving. 

Following an RCMP Code of Conduct Investigation initiated in July 2019 and Martin being temporarily reassigned to administrative duties, the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team confirmed that “while concerning, the evidence did not meet the elements of criminal harassment or luring of a child pursuant to the Criminal Code.”

The matter was deemed to be best served by the RCMP Code of Conduct process.

A Civil Restraining Order was imposed on Martin and he was reassigned to operational duties in August 2019 where he would have limited contact with the public.

Following the RCMP conduct hearing in May 2020, Martin was suspended from duty.

Martin previously served with the Airdrie RCMP, according to prior reporting, and was working on Calgary’s K Division Unit when he was suspended with pay in May 2020. He was discharged in July 2021.

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