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Former Ottawa deputy police chief charged with sexual assault

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Former Ottawa police deputy chief Uday Jaswal has been charged with sexual assault in connection with an incident involving a female police officer under his supervision at the time. The assault allegedly took place in the workplace.

Multiple sources told CTV News prior to the announcement that Ontario's Special Investigations Unit (SIU) was expected to lay the charge as early as Tuesday, following an investigation that has lasted several months. Ottawa Police Service Chief Eric Stubbs and the Ottawa Police Services Board were also informed. 

According to the SIU, the new allegation involves an incident which occurred in 2011 while Jaswal was an OPS inspector.

CTV news has learned that the female complainant was an Ottawa Police officer at the time.

In a media release, the Ottawa Police Service said it’s “mindful of the impact on the community and our members.” The OPS is urging alleged victims to report any such incident to police and state that investigators will respect their wishes "to pursue or not pursue an investigation or criminal charges."

Jaswal's lawyer, Ari Goldkind, called the charge "both opportunistic and factually implausible."

"The SIU has no objective evidence to support these allegations,” he wrote in a statement. “Mr. Jaswal will fully and vigorously defend against this false accusation, and we will be seeking the earliest possible trial. There will be more to come."

Jaswal, who began his career with the OPS in 1995, rose through the ranks to become deputy chief, not just with OPS but also with the Durham Regional Police Service. Allegations of misconduct have plagued him in both municipalities.

Jaswal resigned from OPS in February 2022 under a cloud of sexual harassment allegations from multiple women. He faced eight charges under the Ontario Police Services Act, including discreditable conduct and insubordination.

Six of the charges were related to complaints brought forward by three women who worked with Jaswal at OPS. The other charges were related to accusations of corruption and abuse of power during his time in Durham Region.

The Ontario Civilian Police Commission (OCPC) withdrew the charges in 2022 after losing jurisdiction when Jaswal quit policing days before a scheduled hearing on the matter.

Jaswal was hired to be Durham's deputy police chief in 2016, but returned to Ottawa two years later after being recruited by the OPS board. Sexual misconduct complaints against Jaswal surfaced after he was promoted to the top OPS ranks.

In 2019, a civilian employee lodged a human rights complaint against Jaswal accusing him of unwanted advances and inappropriate touching. A year later, that employee, along with complaints from two female officers about sexual harassment dating as far back as 2008, would form the basis of the OCPC investigation and charges.

Jaswal was suspended with pay in 2020, and collected more than half a million dollars in salary until he resigned from the force in 2022.

According to the SIU website, there are two open sexual assault investigations into Ottawa Police Service members. One complainant came forward in March 2023, while another reported to the SIU last December.

He is scheduled to appear in court on July 18. 

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