OTTAWA — Military police say they have charged one of their own with sexual assault.
Sgt. Kevin MacIntyre, a military police officer at Canadian Forces Base Halifax, faces one count of sexual assault in connection with an alleged incident in Glasgow, Scotland, last year.
The Department of National Defence says MacIntyre and the alleged victim, also a member of the Forces, were participating in an international training exercise at the time.
Navy Lt. Blake Patterson, a Canadian Forces military police spokesman, said the incident is alleged to have occurred on Sept. 15, 2015, but was not reported until March.
The Canadian Forces National Investigation Service (CFNIS), the military police unit responsible for investigating serious crimes, took over the case and laid the charges.
MacIntyre has had his police credentials suspended and been re-assigned to administrative duties pending the outcome of a court martial, Patterson said. A court date has not been set.
Military police charged 34 service members with sexual offences in 2015 and 15 during the first six months of 2016.
Officials say five courts martial have been completed this year, with two military personnel found guilty of sexual assault and one on charges related to child pornography. One service member was found not guilty of sexual assault, while charges against the last person were withdrawn.
Military commanders have been grappling with the issue of sexual misconduct in the ranks since l’Actualite and Maclean’s magazines reported in April 2014 that a large number of military sexual assaults were being ignored or played down.
Retired Supreme Court justice Marie Deschamps was tapped to lead an independent investigation into the issue and her explosive report, released in April 2015, described an “underlying sexual culture” in the military that was hostile to women and left victims to fend for themselves.
In a statement, CFNIS commander Lt.-Col. Francis Bolduc said the charge against MacIntyre “reflects the ongoing commitment of the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service to fully investigate all sexual assault cases, no matter the accused, to support victims and defend against sexual misconduct in the Canadian Armed Forces.”