John Hudak contacted injusticebusters to correct several factual errors I made in this report.
Officer Hudak: Not one trace of DNA was found at his accuser's home
1) I did not work in Rocky Mountain House for most of my 24 year career in the RCMP. I, in fact, worked at numerous detachments and sections in the three western provinces. Rocky Mountain House was one of the two postings I had while stationed in Alberta during my career.
2) At the time of JOHNSON's initial complaint against myself for being "rude" to her, there had only been one other false complaint filed by JOHNSON against another RCMP member at Rocky Mtn. House.
3) Yes, I was placed under surveillance and it happened that some people I came in contact with also became subject of those survellance notes however they were not actively targeted for further surveillance.
4) I retired from the RCMP on January 6th of 2005 but in fact worked my last day at the detachment in Trail, B.C. on Oct. 9th, 2004 using unpaid overtime and annual leave credits.
5) The false charges and the manner inwhich the RCMP handled that investigation, the subsequent Mildred JOHNSON investigation and a lack of acceptance of responsibility for this botched investigation have eroded my faith in the system.
It is through this continuance of injustice that I chose to leave the RCMP as I no longer felt I could sing the company song.
In closing I did read the two comments posted by other bloggers with respect to my story. I am particularly disturbed by the comments of the "anonymous RCMP member" with respect to so called past similar complaints and the fact I am a "woman abuser". Those comment have absolutely no merit and I challenge him or her to come forward with the fact and prove what he or she has said and not continue to make false malicious accusations. This person should have the guts to also identify themself and not hide behind a cloak of secrecy when making such derogatory comments.
Although these factual errors do not affect the general story, we are happy to point them out and apologize to anyone who may have been misled. We strive for accuracy. It is disappointing when people choose to make false statements. At the same time it reminds us that much education remains to be done.
-- Sheila Steele, June 11, 2005
In a report on CBC's The National, November 23, 2004, former RCMP Constable John Hudak told his story. He was well thought of in the community of Rocky Mountain House, Alberta, where he worked most of his 24 year career.
A woman in the community, Mildred Johnson, stalked him and through an eleborate set-up of taped telephone messages succeeded in having him charged with raping him. She was a nurse at the hospital. Before charging him with rape, she told his superior officers that he had come to the hospital stoned on cocaine.
She claimed she could spot this because of previous experience working in the U.S.
It apparently started when a waitress in a coffee shop where Hudak was having coffee asked him if he would be interested in dating her friend, Mildred Johnson. Hudak politely said no, thank you. He had met her when she was a witness in a murder trial. He received several telephone calls with no one on the other end which were later found to have come from her. She filed a complaint with the Rocky Mountain House detachment that he had been rude to her.
Hudak's superiors at Rocky Mountain House did not take Johnson's complaints seriously. "They just didn't fit," said Sgt. Larry Russell. Johnson had previously filed complaints against three other officers, all of which had been shown to have no merit.
Johnson filed her complaints with the RCMP in Red Deer. Investigators went off to Rocky Mountain House where they interrogated Hudak with the accusatory methods they have developed for extracting confessions from citizens.
They had placed Hudak and his friends under surveillance and tapped his phone. They took a DNA sample. They refused to listen to Hudak's co-workers and superiors who spoke to his good character and they also ignored warnings from people in the community that she was not to be trusted and anything she said should be carefully scrutinized. Within the attachment several of his mates were watching him carefully, looking for evidence of Johnson's claim that he had gone to her house, raped her and threatened to kill her if she told anyone.
Hudak was charged
He heard about his charges and suspension on the radio.
He hired a private investigator to go over the evidence against him.
Johnson had given the police DNA samples, claiming they were from a couch where Hudak had raped her. When tested, the samples did not match. Johnston claimed she had had the couch cover cleaned and that the dry-cleaning fluid would have altered the DNA. The investigator determined that she had not had the cleaning done as she had claimed and had gone so far as to produce a forged receipt from a dry cleaners to back up her lie.
The prosecutor went ahead with a trial despite the Hudak's DNA sample having been tested and shown his innocence, knowing all of the above and having received information from Johnson's relatives that she was lying. Because Hudak had thoroughly prepared his defence, Johnson was caught in the lie and the prosecutor's case fell apart.
Hudak was acquitted but his career was destroyed. He transferred to Calgary. Women working in the office learned about his previous charges and expressed concern about working in the same office with an alleged rapist. On October 9, 2003, John left the RCMP.
The charges, sexual assault and uttering death threats, are the sort of charges that do not easily go away, even when a person is exonerated by a court.
His reputation had become so tarnished that he could no longer be an effective policeman in the community.
He eventually transferred back to Trail, B.C. where he had begun his career. The tarnish on his reputation followed him there. He retired and has filed a $3M lawsuit.
Mildred Johnson was charged with perjury and received a six month sentence.
Grant Gelinas who did the story for CBC was interviewed on The Current. Scrolldown to part 2. An audio version of the documentary can be heard. [NO LONGER AVAILABLE]
Sgt Larry Russell (above) was Hudak's superior. He is interviewed as well.
This story shows how easily hard-working policeman who follow the law and their own rules can become embittered by those who have tunnel vision and join together with unscrupulous crown prosecutors who sensationalize stories and use the media to pursue innocent people.
That they even do it to their own must be hard for them to absorb.
According to the CBC piece, Hudak has filed a $3M lawsuit against the police.
The prosecutors in this case were clearly malicious. That they would try and convict John Hudak, even after being told by her own relatives that Mildred Johnson was a trouble maker and a liar, is hard to understand.
We wish John Hudak well in his civil claim and hope that the RCMP will be forced to clean up their act and that the prosecutors will be fired.
Without a shred of evidence, a nurse cries rape and puts a Mountie through two years of torture
John Hudak, 49, a 21-year veteran Alberta RCMP officer, suspects his life will never be the same.
In August 2000, the constable was charged with sexual assault and uttering threats against a then 58-year-old nurse (who for legal reasons cannot be named).
He barely knew the woman, and spoke to her only briefly and professionally the handful of times he attended at the small Rocky Mountain House hospital where she worked.
But in May 2000, she alleged Constable Hudak had raped her three months earlier.
She said he sowed up at her home February 8 while she was sleeping on the couch in a skimpy nightshirt.
She said he came in. pushed her down on the sofa and raped her for 45 minutes. She claimed she waited three months to report the rape because he threatened to make her "disappear."
Const. Hudak told investigators he "didn't even know where" the nurse lived. But charges were laid in November 200, and he was suspended from the force, with pay. Even though he passed numerous polygraphs, the charges went ahead. Finally, on February 13, the officer'' long ordeal came to an end. Red Deer Court of Queen's Bench Justice Jack Holmes deliberated less than an hour before acquitting the Mountie on all charges.
Mr. Justice Holmes said the nurse's testimony was tainted. For example, she forged a receipt from a carpet-cleaning company to explain why investigators could not find any DNA belonging to Const. Hudak at her trailer home.
(She told police that she hired the company to steam clean her couch after the rape. But company officials testified they do not clean upholstery, were closed on the day of the alleged rape, do not issue receipts that match the one the nurse provided and had no record of ever attending the nurse's home.)
The judge added he did not believe the nurse was afraid of the officer, because she lodged two complaints against him after the rape was alleged to have occurred. The nurse had a history of complaining about other RCMP officers, and described what she alleged was a 45 minute sexual assault in only a few minutes while testifying, noted the judge.
Justice Holmes said there was "little reason to doubt the testimony of Const. Hudak." He suggested the trial proceeded at all only because the RCMP was trying to avoid public perception that police officers were receiving preferential treatment from the justice system.
Const. Hudak, divorced with two adult children, first met the short, overweight nurse at the hospital while investigating a murder in 1999. For the next six months he received silent phone calls to his home, which he ignored. After the nurse lodged an initial complaint against him in March 2000, he realized she was responsible for the phone calls.
In the March complaint, the nurse claimed Const. Hudak "glared" at her while ate the hospital, and, on another occasions, was "cocky, strutting, agitated." Later she phoned RCMP headquarters in Edmonton and alleged Const, Hudak had "done some cocaine." The matter was sent to his superior officer, and an informal resolution meeting was held among Sergeant Larry Russell, Const. Hudak and the nurse.
The nurse signed the complaint off as unfounded after Sgt. Russell suggested it was "malicious." She would later lodge a complaint against Sgt. Russell, alleging he was "rude and intimidating." But despite attending the meeting and talking to various victim-service employees and an RCMP complaint-line official over the course of the next three months, the nurse had still not complained she was raped.
She also claimed to have no interest in Const. Hudak, but had a waitress friend ask the officer, in front of his RCMP partner, if he was single. The waitress told Const. Hudak she was asking on behalf of her friend, the nurse.
Meanwhile the silent calls continued, and Const. Hudak lodged a complaint against the nurse for harassment. It was after officers visited the nurse and warned her to stop phoning Const. Hudak that she phoned an RCMP complaint and alleged she was raped.
The constable received more phone calls to his home from the nurse in the summer of 2000. They were being taped by the RCMP. The Report obtained transcripts.
The nurse phoned half a dozen times over two days.
On June 14, 2000, she finally reached Const. Hudak. He told her he had no interest in talking to her. "Maybe I guess I'm gonna have to bring some, this business to the attention of the authorities," she told him.
He replied, "OK," and told her to make a complaint if she wished. Finally the nurse said, "Why did you come to my house in February and, and do what you did?" Const.
Hudak replied, I don't know what you are talking about.you go ahead and pursue your complaint. OK?" and hung up.
The next day, she phoned five more times, and on the fifth try, Const. Hudak answered the phone. The nurse said, "You listen to me.I want to know how it was that you came to my house and, and raped me like you did.why did you do that?" Const. Hudak replied, "OK, [nurse], you go ahead with your complaint. OK? Goodbye."
Const. Hudak provided a DNA sample for court. Not one drop of his DNA was found at the home of the nurse. The nurse claimed she threw out her ripped nightgown and was never examined by a doctor. She was never tested for sexually transmitted diseases.
Following his acquittal, Const. Hudak left on a cruise to the south Carribean. When he returns, he will be transeferred to duties with the G8 Summit.
But what led the nurse to level such a bizarre accusation towards an officer who was well-respected, active in the Catholic Church and belonged to the Knights of Columbus? The nurse had a run-in with Texas police in 1989, after repeatedly making threatening phone calls to her ex-boyfriend's new girlfriend. The nurse phoned the girlfriend and threatened to kill her and throw sulphuric acid in the face of the girlfriend's daughter. Police had seven tapes of the nurse's threats. She was placed on community supervision and fined $200.
Const. Hudak had his own reaction. During his trial, crown prosecutor Ian Fraser asked him, "Why didn't you say to her [the nurse], 'you're nuts?" Const. Hudak replied, "I had already come to the conclusion this woman was nuts."