Canada charges ex-general fighting in Ukraine with sexual assault

A former Canadian general who reportedly went to Ukraine to fight Russian invaders has been charged back home in Canada with sexual assault, after a months-long investigation.

Retired Lt Gen Trevor Cadieu faces two counts of sexual assault that relate to alleged incidents at Canada’s Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario in 1994 when he was a cadet, the office of the Canadian Forces Provost Marshal said in a statement.

The case will now be handed over to civilian prosecutors, in accordance with recent recommendations to help clean up a toxic culture within the Canadian military.

Cadieu had been named to lead the Canadian army last September, but the appointment was derailed by the sexual assault investigation.

According to Canadian media, he is accused of having raped a female student at the college. He has previously denied any wrongdoing.

He retired in April.

The Ottawa Citizen said Cadieu indicated in an email from Ukraine that he’d been informed of the charges and was “making arrangements to return to Canada from Ukraine”.

Louise Arbour, a former prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal and retired supreme court justice, lambasted the military’s handling of sexual misconduct cases in a report last month.

Her review came after another taskforce in 2015 found the military had “an environment that is hostile to women … and is conducive to more serious incidents of sexual harassment and assault”.

In April 2021, the military reported to the House of Commons 581 sexual assaults and 221 incidents of sexual harassment had taken place since 2015.

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