After three trials and nearly a decade, he’s off to jail.
Remo Romano, convicted of running down 18-year-old Natasha “Carla” Abogado as she crossed a Scarborough street nine years ago, will begin his eight-month sentence after the Ontario Court of Appeal dismissed his challenge to the Sept. 2018 verdict that found him guilty of dangerous driving causing death.
Romano, a Det.-Const. with the York Regional Police service, was driving an unmarked police vehicle 115 km/h along St. Clair Ave. E. near Warden Ave. on Feb. 12, 2014 when he struck Abogado as she was crossing the road after exiting a TTC bus.
The speed limit along that stretch of St. Clair West was 60 km/h.
Romano’s first trial in 2016 ended in a hung jury resulting in a mistrial, while a second resulted in an acquittal.
A successful appeal by the Crown triggered a third trial in 2018 where Romano was found guilty and sentenced to eight months, but released on bail pending the outcome of his appeal.
Romano testified he was speeding to catch up with a six-vehicle convoy tailing a suspect as part of an undercover operation targeting commercial break-and-enters.
He tearfully told the court in 2016 that he didn’t see the girl as she jaywalked across St. Clair Ave. W. at a bus stop.
The force of the impact tossed her nearly 80 metres.
She was pronounced dead at the scene.
York Regional Police Association President Rob O’Quinn said he was disappointed by Thursday’s decision to dismiss the appeal.
“As a result of the conviction in this case, police officers have been put on notice by the courts that they may face criminal liability for exceeding the speed limit while in the lawful execution of their duties,” he said in a statement, adding the association will assist Romano in his appeal.
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