Senior Canadian Armed Forces member charged with sex-related offences
Published Tuesday, July 28, 2015 12:55PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, July 28, 2015 7:55PM EDT
A senior officer with the Canadian Armed Forces has been charged with multiple counts of sex-related offences in connection with incidents dating back to 1998.
In a written statement released Tuesday, the Department of National Defence announced that Lt. –Col. Mason Stalker, 40, has been charged with multiple sex-related offences, including sexual assault, sexual exploitation and invitation to sexual touching.
Stalker is a commanding officer of the 1st Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry.
The DND statement said the investigation is related to a series of historical incidents alleged to have occurred from 1998 to 2007 in Edmonton “while the member was involved as a mentor” with a local army cadet corps.
Capt. Joanna Labonte, public affairs officer for the military police, said that investigators are aware of a single alleged victim, who was an underage male at the time most of the alleged assaults occurred.
The alleged incidents continued for a few months while he was an adult, Labonte told CTV News.
The investigation was launched on April 27, Labonte said, after the alleged victim came forward and made a complaint.
According to Labonte, the case will now be processed through the civilian criminal court system.
Lt.-Col. Francis Bolduc, Commanding Officer of the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service, called the Criminal Code charges “serious and significant.”
“Regardless of a member’s rank and role in the Canadian Armed Forces, the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service works diligently and independently from the Canadian Armed Forces chain of command to protect individuals from those who violate the law,” he said in the DND statement.
Stalker is facing a total of 10 charges.
Gen. Jonathan Vance, Canada’s new chief of the defence staff, said Tuesday that Stalker has been suspended from his command assignment “until the judicial process is complete.”
In a statement, Vance said the charges involving Stalker are “serious,” but added that he cannot comment on the case.
“We must allow the judicial process to unfold,” he said.
Anyone with knowledge related to the investigation is being asked to contact the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service Western Region tip line at: 1-877-233-6066.