Canadian Armed Forces member faces sex assault charges from time in N.S.

A Canadian Armed Forces member is facing sexual assault charges against a military colleague during his time at the high-security intelligence facility in Halifax.

On Thursday, the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service charged Master Cpl. Anthony Chand with sexual assault and other related offences under the Criminal Code of Canada and under the National Defence Act.

"Every time we lay [a] charge, especially the ones on sexual assault, it's always a reminder that there's work to do," said Maj. Jean-Marc Mercier, spokesperson for the Canadian Forces Military Police Group. 

On June 19, 2019, the CFNIS began an investigation following a complaint of criminal behaviour that allegedly happened over a span of six months in Nova Scotia. 

The complainant was a military member during that time.

Chand faces charges of sexual assault, sexual assault causing bodily harm, forcible confinement and harassing communications under the criminal code and the NDA.

He also faces a charge of conduct to the prejudice of good order and discipline under the NDA.

'Unusual' to see multiple charges

Mercier said the charges relate to at least two incidents.

One alleged assault took place when the complainant was visiting Halifax. A later assault allegedly took place when the complainant was working on contract with the military in Halifax. 

"The number of counts makes it in itself a little bit unusual for what we see. We'll usually see one or two counts," Mercier said.

"But five, including sexual assault and sexual assault causing bodily harm, forcible confinement and harassing communications — these are some that in my own career I did not see that much."

The military police are not releasing any information about the complainant's gender. Mercier said the person is a Reserve Forces member.

Chand is now an image technician with the Canadian Forces College in Toronto. Mercier said the role includes being a photographer and videographer.

The alleged victim lives in Quebec, so there is a large separation between the two and both are safe, Mercier said.

Keeping the public informed

Mercier said it's important to release this information to assure complainants that actions are being taken, but also to act as a "method of dissuasion" to alleged offenders and an act of transparency for all Canadians.

"It's not fun to release these kind of things but I feel it's necessary," Mercier said.

The matter is now proceeding through the military justice system.

Mercier said the file is now in the hands of the Director of Military Prosecutions.