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Const. James Forcillo facing additional charges in wake of breach of bail arrest

CityNews | posted Friday, Dec 22nd, 2017

A Toronto police officer found guilty of attempted murder in the fatal shooting of a teen on an empty streetcar has been charged with perjury and attempting to obstruct justice.

Toronto police said Thursday their professional standards unit began investigating Const. James Forcillo after the province’s police watchdog laid a charge in mid-November alleging he breached conditions of his bail.

Forcillo was sentenced to six years in prison last year for his role in the shooting of Sammy Yatim, an incident that set off a wave of public outrage after video of what happened went viral.

The officer had been out on bail under house arrest while he appealed his conviction, but had his bail revoked after police said he failed to live with his surety or notify officials of a change of address.

Forcillo’s lawyer, Michael Lacy, said the new charges were related to the same alleged incident regarding his bail, but declined further comment.

Forcillo, 34, was acquitted of second-degree murder in the death of Yatim, 18, but found guilty of attempted murder.

Court documents show the officer’s breach of bail conditions revolved around issues with where he was living.

He had been ordered, as a condition of his bail, to live with his now ex-wife.

Forcillo applied to have the conditions of his bail changed in order to live with his new fiancee, Sara Balderrama, at an apartment in north Toronto, according to court records.

Before his application could be conspired, investigators visited Balderrama’s apartment and found Forcillo there, court documents show.

He told investigators his new arrangement was “only temporary.”

Court documents allege it was Forcillo, not his fiancee, who had arranged the rental unit and signed the lease.

His appeal remains ongoing with a “fresh evidence phase” coming in the new year.

Forcillo is asking the appeal court to substitute a not-guilty verdict or order a new trial in his case.

He is also seeking a declaration that the mandatory minimum sentence for attempted murder is unconstitutional, and wants to be granted a suspended sentence. Barring that, he wants his sentence reduced to the minimum five years.

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