Ex-deputy police chief Uday Jaswal charged with sexual assault

Uday Jaswal resigned in 2022 amid accusations of sexual harassment. He has now been charged with a single count of sexual assault against one woman. (Twitter - image credit)

Ontario's Special Investigations Unit (SIU) has charged a former Ottawa police deputy chief with sexual assault over an incident that occurred while he was an inspector.

Uday Jaswal is charged with a single count of sexual assault against one woman.

Jaswal resigned in disgrace in 2022 amid many accusations of sexual harassment, including by a female civilian employee of the Ottawa Police Service (OPS) who detailed her story to CBC in 2021.

"Jaswal was arrested by members of the SIU today and subsequently released on several conditions, including not to communicate with the woman, not to go within 100 metres of the woman, not to possess a firearm, cross-bow, prohibited weapon, restricted weapon, prohibited device, ammunition, prohibited ammunition or explosive substance and to surrender those in his possession," the police oversight agency said in a news release issued Tuesday.

The SIU said Ottawa police "notified the SIU of the incident on March 13, 2023, and the Unit launched an investigation."

Allegation 'factually implausible,' lawyer says

In a statement issued Tuesday, Jaswal's lawyer Ari Goldkind called the allegation against his client "both opportunistic and factually implausible."

"When it comes to my client, there have been all sorts of people trying to take shots at him, people trying to obtain things from him," Goldkind said later in an interview with CBC.

The defence lawyer said his team would be asking for the earliest trial date possible.

"We are very, very optimistic that Uday Jaswal will once and for all be able to clear his name," said Goldkind.

In a statement of its own issued Tuesday, the OPS said it was "mindful of the impact on the community and our members," and urged any other victims to report to police.

Jaswal is scheduled to first appear in court on July 18.