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Assault charges dropped against Victoria police officer

Two assault charges against a Victoria police officer have been dropped ahead of his criminal trial in B.C. Supreme Court.

Constables Brent Keleher and Ryan Young, who are currently working as patrol officers, were charged following allegations they had assaulted two brothers on Oct. 18, 2008. The officers had arrested Jeffrey and Trevor Meyers for public intoxication.

Young pleaded guilty in court in May 2011, and received a conditional discharge and one year probation.

Keleher pleaded not guilty. His trial was scheduled to begin Monday (Feb. 27), but Crown stayed the charges on Feb. 17.

"Leading up to trial, the Crown ultimately concluded that the public interest didn't require proceeding with the case," said Neil MacKenzie, B.C.'s Crown spokesperson. "One of the complainants couldn't be located. Another complainant preferred that the matter not proceed."

Though the criminal matter is over, the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner must now decide whether Victoria police Chief Const. Jamie Graham appropriately disciplined his officers following an internal investigation.

The discipline hearing revealed that excessive force had been used.

Young was suspended without pay for five days for neglect of duty and abuse of authority. Keleher was found to have used inappropriate language, and was given a written reprimand.

The commissioner is not expected to decide whether the matter warrants a public hearing or review on record until at least mid-March.

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