A former high-profile RCMP spokesman accused of sexual assault has pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The plea by Tim Shields was entered in Vancouver Provincial Court on July 7. Dates for a trial were also set, with the proceedings scheduled to get underway on May 30, 2017.
The charge against Shields – whose photography once graced a Highway 99 billboard encouraging cross-border travellers to visit White Rock – was announced in May. It was the result of an investigation into sexual misconduct alleged to have occurred between 2009 and 2010.
The alleged victim was a civilian employee who worked with the Mounties’ strategic communications unit.
Shields voluntarily retired from the RCMP last December. He was suspended with pay a year ago pending the outcome of a Code of Conduct investigation.
RCMP officials noted at the time it was not a disciplinary measure.
It's anticipated that next year's criminal trial will take three weeks.