Vice-Admiral Edmundson charged with sexual assault and indecent acts – .

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Vice-Admiral Edmundson charged with sexual assault and indecent acts – .


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Vice-Admiral Haydn Edmundson has been charged with sexual assault and indecent acts, the Department of National Defense said on Tuesday.

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The case will be heard by a civil court.

The charge follows allegations by a former sailor that she was raped by Edmundson aboard HMCS Provider in November 1991.

“As the case is currently pending in the civil justice system, no further information can be released at this time,” DND noted in its statement.

The Canadian Forces National Investigation Service began the investigation into Edmundson after CBC News informed DND that it was about to publish an article featuring official remarks by the alleged victim.

Stephanie Viau told CBC that Edmundson, then a lieutenant commander, exposed his genitals to him while he was on a Navy ship during an exercise. Viau, at the time, was a 19-year-old member of the Canadian Navy.

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She alleges that several days later Edmundson raped her aboard HMCS Provider while the ship was docked in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

Edmundson has denied the allegations.

Viau said she did not report the assault originally because she was afraid to report the ship’s third most senior officer. She described to CBC a pervasive culture of silence surrounding sexual misconduct, a lack of support from the military chain of command and fear of professional reprisal.

Viau did not want the police or the Canadian Forces justice system involved in the investigation because she did not trust the military to properly investigate and prosecute her case. The army refused a request for the RCMP to intervene in the matter.

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In response to the charges against Edmundson, Viau’s attorney Paul Champ said: “Since the case is now in court, my client makes no further comment than to say that we will wait for justice to follow. his courses. ”

In April, it was announced that Edmundson had temporarily stepped down as Commander of Military Personnel Command in Ottawa. Edmundson is now part of the Canadian Armed Forces Transition Unit, which is usually the last stop before retirement.

The CBC had previously reported that Edmundson was investigated into allegations of inappropriate behavior with female subordinates in the late 1990s. The claims against him date back to his time as a Lieutenant-Commander and oversaw training at the Naval Officer Training Center in Esquimalt, BC.

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After this report of alleged inappropriate behavior, DND came to Edmundson’s defense. The ministry noted in a statement that Edmundson had never been charged or subjected to any kind of administrative action. “Commenting further on cases for which no charges have been laid would be both inappropriate and irresponsible, as it would affect the right of individuals to dignity and equality,” he added.

Over the past 11 months, the military has been rocked by allegations of sexual misconduct by its senior leaders.

In October, it was revealed that military police were investigating an allegation of sexual misconduct against the lieutenant general. Steven Whelan, the officer recruited to replace Edmundson as Chief of Military Personnel. The Military Personnel Command led by Whelan and Edmundson was responsible for eliminating “harmful and inappropriate behavior” in the Canadian Forces as well as recruiting. Whelan has not commented.

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This newspaper revealed in October that Lieutenant General. Trevor Cadieu, who was to take command of the Canadian military, was the subject of a police investigation after allegations of sexual misconduct. Cadieu denies any wrongdoing.

Retired Chief of Staff Gen. Jon Vance has faced a number of allegations of sexual misconduct and was charged in July with one count of obstructing justice.

In August, Major-General. Dany Fortin has been charged with sexual assault. Vance and Fortin deny any wrongdoing.

major-general. Peter Dawe was put on paid leave in early May after it was revealed he had written a positive reference to attempt to influence the conviction of an officer convicted of sexual assault. Senior military leadership quietly returned Dawe to Defense Headquarters in September to work on sexual misconduct review files. But the resulting anger among victims of sexual assault forced the Canadian Forces to temporarily remove Dawe from his new job and raised new questions about whether senior management was serious about sexual misconduct.

Viau has previously raised concerns about the way his case has been handled by DND. After being made public, Jody Thomas, Deputy Minister of DND, contacted the federal department where Viau now works and spoke to his deputy, reported the CBC.

DND said Thomas apologized for his actions and was only trying to make sure Viau had the support she needed.

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