The Canadian Forces National Investigation Service is investigating an alleged sexual assault that happened at the CFB Esquimalt on Oct. 5. (BlackPress file photo)

Investigation underway into reported sexual assault at B.C. naval base

An Oct. 5 allegation is being investigated by Canadian Forces National Investigation Service

An Oct. 5 report of sexual assault at CFB Esquimalt on Southern Vancouver Island is currently under investigation by the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service.

Major Jean-Marc Mercier, the public affairs officer to the Provost Marshall of Canadian Military Police, confirmed there is an investigation underway into an allegation of an Oct. 5 incident. He said he could not share any more information about the allegations while the investigation is ongoing.

“Once the investigation is over, if the findings — supported by factual evidence — are that there was a wrongdoing, then the CFNIS will lay charges,” he said.

READ MORE: Victoria plaintiffs part of national lawsuit against Canadian Armed Forces

Details about a reported sexual assault will only be released by the military police to the public if charges are being laid. If there isn’t enough evidence to go to court or a report cannot be proven, information will not be released to maintain privacy.

“We may communicate that the investigation is over and done, but there won’t be any further information as to who were the ones that were allegedly being the bad guys here because they have rights too,” he said.

Alleged victims, he said, may waive their right to privacy, but the military police are bound by law not to.

READ MORE: Court martial underway for retired CAF member accused of sex crimes in Esquimalt

He said the military police could not reveal how many investigations are ongoing at the base level, such as CFB Esquimalt, but that they keep track of that information at a national level.

“There are some bases that are so small that by giving out the number would actually be potentially revealing information on the identity of [victims and perpetrators],” Mercier said. “Maintaining some level of discretion is helpful to the value of the investigation.”

The latest available statistics from the Canadian Armed Forces about military police investigations is from 2016. It shows across the country there were investigations into 175 “level 1” sexual assaults, no “level 2 (weapon or bodily harm)” sexual assault investigations and one “level 3 (aggravated)” sexual assault investigation. In 2016, there were 13 investigations into sexual violations against children.

READ MORE: Former CFB Esquimalt naval officer charged with sexual assault


@KeiliBartlett
keili.bartlett@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CFB Esquimalt

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UPDATED: Rocky Mountaineer delays season until July 1

The popular luxury train had previously suspended operations through April due to COVID-19

COVID-19: Four weeks of downtime coming for Cariboo Pulp and Paper mill employees

West Fraser announces additional temporary production reductions in response to COVID-19

COVID-19: Caring for your mental health during a global pandemic

Canadian Mental Health Association Quesnel offers advice, resources to deal with anxiety and stress

Quesnel family pinning autism awareness onto community

Laura and Matthew Hender have sold thousands of autism awareness pins over the past eight years

COVID-19: Quesnel council moves to electronic meetings

Video of council’s first electronic meeting is now available on the City of Quesnel’s website

COVID-19: 4 new deaths, 25 new cases but only in Vancouver Coastal, Fraser Health

A total of 1,291 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

COVID-19: Don’t get away for Easter weekend, Dr. Bonnie Henry warns

John Horgan, Adrian Dix call 130 faith leaders as holidays approach

COVID-19: Trudeau says 30K ventilators on the way; 3.6M Canadians claim benefits

Canada has seen more than 17,000 cases and at least 345 deaths due to COVID-19

RCMP call on kids to name latest foal recruits

The baby horses names are to start with the letter ‘S’

As Canadians return home amid pandemic, border crossings dip to just 5% of usual traffic

Non-commercial land crossing dipped by 95%, air travel dropped by 96 per cent, according to the CBSA

Logan Boulet Effect: Green Shirt Day calls on Canadians to become organ donors

While social distancing, the day also honours the 16 lives lost in the 2018 Humboldt Broncos Crash

COMMENTARY: Knowing where COVID-19 cases are does not protect you

Dr. Bonnie Henry explains why B.C. withholds community names

B.C. wide burning restrictions come into effect April 16

‘Larger open burns pose an unnecessary risk and could detract from wildfire detection’

Most Read