Charges dropped after death of longtime Wellington OPP Sgt. Michael Dolderman

GUELPH – Charges against longtime Wellington OPP Sgt. Michael Dolderman were withdrawn at the request of Crown attorney Jason Nicol in Guelph court earlier this month.

“Your honour, Mr. Dolderman recently passed away, therefore the prosecution has to come to an end,” Nicol told court on Dec. 5.

Michael Dolderman

Dolderman’s defence lawyer Bernard Cummins told court his client was “steadfast in his innocence,” and welcomed a trial he was confident would “clear his name.”

Dolderman’s family, including his widow Brenda Dolderman, listened to the proceeding remotely by computer.

Dolderman was charged with five counts of sexual assault and five counts of breach of trust in 2020 following a three-month investigation by the OPP’s Professional Standards Bureau. At the time, he was a 21-year member of the provincial police force.

The province’s Special Investigation’s Unit began investigating the alleged assaults after the OPP notified the agency in January 2020.

The investigation was later handed to the OPP because of “overlapping investigative interests,” an SIU spokesperson told the Advertiser at the time.

The internal police investigation also resulted in charges being laid the same year against former OPP officer Sukhvinder Singh Toor as well as Dolderman’s wife.

Secretly recorded conversations between officers at the Rockwood OPP detachment in 2020 purportedly captured discussion about the unproven sexual assault allegations lodged by OPP staff members against Dolderman.

The identities of the individuals who made the accusations against Dolderman cannot be reported because of a court-ordered publication ban.

The secret recordings were later provided by Toor to Dolderman’s wife, who was convicted of obstructing justice in connection with the internal investigation into the recordings. She was sentenced earlier this year to house arrest and probation.

Charges of breaching trust, attempting to obstruct justice, intercepting private communication, and disclosing private communication levied against Toor were all withdrawn earlier this year at the Crown’s request.Up until his death, Dolderman had been suspended from the police force and, as required by provincial law, continued to be paid a full salary by the OPP as the charges worked through the courts.

On Nov. 17, Dolderman died while surrounded by his family at his Centre Wellington home, following a battle against cancer.

As an officer, he was previously awarded the Commissioner’s Citation for Lifesaving and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal.

He also started a drop-in sports program, hosted a volleyball league at Centre Wellington District High School, coached soccer, and hosted a beer-and-Bibles night.

Court heard Dolderman was hopeful the charges would be withdrawn by the Crown before his death.

His defence lawyer said he had reviewed the Crown’s case against his client and saw “little evidence to support sexual assault allegations.”

“We were optimistic he would be acquitted of those sexual assault allegations,” Cummins added.

Cummins did not respond to requests for comment from the Advertiser.

In an email to the Advertiser, Brenda Dolderman wrote her late husband “maintained his innocence right to the end.”

She added that “out of respect for my grief and my grieving family” she wouldn’t be commenting further.