Former Ottawa deputy police chief charged with sexual assault: SIU

The former deputy chief of the Ottawa police force has been charged with sexually assaulting a woman more than a decade ago, Ontario's police watchdog said Tuesday.

The Special Investigations Unit said Uday Jaswal was a police inspector when the alleged assault occurred in 2011.

He was arrested Tuesday and released on several conditions, including not communicating with the woman and not possessing any firearms, the SIU said in a news release.

"As the matter is before the courts, and in consideration of the fair trial interests of the accused, the SIU will not provide further comment on the investigation," the watchdog wrote.

Jaswal's lawyer, Ari Goldkind, said his client will "fully and vigorously" defend himself against what he called a "false" accusation.

"The Special Investigations Unit for Ontario has chosen to charge Mr. Jaswal with an allegation that is both opportunistic and factually implausible after a 15-month delay and despite numerous requests for an update by counsel," Goldkind wrote in a statement. "The SIU has no objective evidence to support these allegations."

The SIU said it began its investigation after Ottawa police notified them of the allegation against Jaswal in March 2023.

Ottawa police issued a brief statement Tuesday saying Jaswal resigned from the force in 2022.

"The Ottawa Police Service is mindful of the impact on the community and our members," it wrote, encouraging anyone affected by the case to seek support from services available in the region.

Goldkind said he'll be seeking "the earliest possible trial" for Jaswal, who is scheduled to appear in an Ottawa court on July 18.

"The public, once they hear what is actually being alleged, will be shocked that these spurious allegations received the SIU Director's seal of approval," he wrote.

Tribunal documents filed by the Ontario Civilian Police Commission show that Jaswal faced multiple counts of alleged misconduct under the Police Services Act, but those charges were withdrawn once he left policing in February 2022.

Six of those charges, including insubordination and discreditable conduct related to allegations of sexual harassment in the workplace, stemmed from his time with the Ottawa police force.

The other two related to his role as deputy chief of the Durham Regional Police Service, a post he held for two years before returning to Ottawa in 2018.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 25, 2024.

Sonja Puzic, The Canadian Press