Tenacious investigator honoured

Date: 2012-06-15

Tenacious investigator honoured

Jun 15, 2012 - 08:53 AM

A Sex Crimes Unit officer – who through diligent work, unflailing persistence and tenacious investigation helped convict three child sex offenders – is the recipient of this year’s Supt. William Bishop Award.

The retired Toronto police officer presented the award to D/Const. Kim Percival at a reception at headquarters on June 13.

In 1994, Bishop’s family – with the support of then Deputy Chief William Boothby – established the award that recognizes investigative excellence.

“A lot people perception of police investigations are based on crime dramas they see on television,” Bishop said.

“An investigation and court procedure goes over an hour and people don’t realise the dedication, effort and expertise that goes into the investigation such as this one that Det. Percival was involved in. This is a classic example of why this award originated.”

While assigned to the sex offender registry in August 2006, Percival – acting on a civilian witness information – started an investigation into a known sex offender and his association with a Romanian-born woman who had adopted a young girl when she was just 15 months old.

The woman placed the girl in the care of her elderly parents who were in failing health and unable to meet the demands of parenthood. By the time she was six years old, the little girl was performing quasi-parental functions which she accepted as normal. Children’s Aid Society was involved in numerous occasions and placed the victim in several foster homes.

After receiving full custody, the woman moved the girl to Toronto and introduced her to male inmates at the Don Jail who she knew were incarcerated for sexual offences. Through an association with a well-known pedophile, who was extradited to California seven years ago, the women met several other sex offenders and introduced them to her adopted daughter. The woman allowed the offenders to babysit and spend nights with her daughter alone on many occasions.

In December 2006, the victim told Percival that Randolph Bartley and Gary Hoare had sexually abused her and that her mother had told her to lie when questioned by police.

“If you have been in this investigative business for a while, those are two pretty famous names when it comes to sex abuse,” said A/S/Supt. Tom Fitzgerald.

Percival’s investigation led to the execution of seven search warrants and 34 interviews with the victim.

In 2009, Bartley pled guilty to sexual touching and two counts of failing to comply with probation and received a two-year sentence while Hoare, who also pled guilty to sexual assault, sexual interference, invitation to sexual touching and failing to comply with recognizance, was sentenced to six years four months.

A year ago, the victim’s mother was found guilty of several offences and sentenced to six-and-a-half years.

Fitzgerald said Percival displayed extraordinary tenacity, dedication, professionalism and an unwavering commitment that contributed to the successful outcome of the investigation.

“There were several remarkable submissions for the award this year, but the investigative work and accomplishments of our nominee in particular was deemed most worthy of this prestigious honour,” he said.

“Her personal dedication and tenacity resulted in the jailing of three very dangerous criminals. More importantly, I believe she saved the life of a young girl.”

The 13-year officer has been a member of the sex crimes unit for the past six years.

“It’s an absolute honour to be the recipient of this award,” Percival said.

“This was a long and challenging investigation and many officers helped out. This is by far the worst case of abuse I have been involved in and it’s satisfying when your work leads to arrests and convictions. That’s what makes this job rewarding.”

A/Deputy Chief Jeff McGuire, Supt. Liz Byrnes, S/Insp. Mary Lee Metcalfe and several other senior officers attended the award ceremony.

“This is a great honour for one of our finest detectives,” said Metcalfe, who heads the Sex Crimes Unit.

“This was a very difficult investigation and Kim received an exemplary letter from the Crown Office acknowledging her perseverance and commitment to the young victim in this case.”

Tom Fitzgerald, Kim Percival and William Bishop
Toronto Police Service
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