Deputy commanding officer of Ottawa military regiment charged with sexual offences
A major with the City of Ottawa's official military regiment has been charged with sexual offences, including offences against a minor.
Maj. Robert Baker, who currently serves as the part-time deputy commanding officer of the Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa, is charged by the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) with one charge each of sexual assault, sexual interference and sexual exploitation, according to the Department of National Defence.
The charge for sexual exploitation indicates sexual touching, or the invitation of sexual touching, with someone under the age of 18.
The Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa is a Canadian Armed Forces regiment tasked with training soldiers in light infantry for augmentation to the regular force or for use in domestic emergencies.
Daniel Le Bouthillier, head of media relations with the Department of National Defence, said in an email that the Canadian Armed Forces may consider "further administrative or disciplinary measures" for Baker depending on the outcome of the court case. Those measures "may include a recommendation for release" from the armed forces, Bouthillier said.
Since March 23, Baker has not been parading with the unit nor has he been receiving pay while the chain of command evaluates available options, according to Bouthillier.
Throughout 2021, the Canadian Armed Forces saw more than a dozen senior military officers — current and former — sidelined, investigated or forced into retirement for their direct involvement in, or handling of, sexual misconduct allegations.
"The Canadian Armed Forces holds its members to a very high standard of conduct and performance," Bouthillier said.