Soldier in Alberta facing child porn, sex assault charges

A Canadian soldier at an Alberta air force base has been accused of sexually assaulting a child and distributing child pornography.

COLD LAKE — A Canadian soldier at an Alberta air force base has been accused of sexually assaulting a child and distributing child pornography.

The individual, who cannot be identified, was arrested by the RCMP last week and remains in custody.

Mounties say the accused and alleged victim may be from the same family.

“I can tell you a member of 4 Wing Cold Lake was arrested by RCMP for the charges as stated in the RCMP release. At the moment, the RCMP is the leading police agency and the military police are assisting as required,” Lt. (Navy) Bettina McCulloch-Drake confirmed Wednesday.

The charges as listed include sexual assault, sexual interference, invitation to sexual touching and possession and distribution of child pornography.

The investigation began last week when police officers received a tip.

“An individual had attended the Swift Current detachment disclosing they had received pornographic images from a Cold Lake resident,” said RCMP Staff Sgt. Rob Cunningham.

“We have a general investigation section and later that same day we attended the residence of the accused and he was arrested without incident.”

The man made his first court appearance in Edmonton on Monday and reserved his plea.

He remains in custody until his next appearance set for Jan. 25 in Cold Lake provincial court.

The news came as a shock to members of the close-knit military community.

“Any kind of allegation toward (Canadian Forces) members is naturally going to be a shock, but at the same time we need to co-operate with the RCMP and ensure the investigation is not jeopardized,” said McCulloch-Drake.

“We certainly take these allegations seriously.”

The accused soldier’s future won’t be determined until after the legal proceedings against him are complete.

“We have to wait until the investigation…comes out with (its) findings and then, from there, we’ll need to make a decision on what we’re doing with the member,” said McCulloch-Drake.

Charges of such magnitude could lead to a court martial.

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