Conduct Case MPCC‑2018‑030 Summary

This complaint arose from a historical sexual assault investigation. The complainant complained to the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service (CFNIS) that, as a young child, he was the victim of sexual abuse at the hands of a baby-sitter, an older child, when both were residents on a military base in the period of 1978‑80. The case was investigated and taken to a prosecutor, however charges were not recommended. Thus the CFNIS concluded the file without laying charges. The complainant filed a conduct complaint alleging that the CFNIS investigation was deficient.

In 2011, the complainant made an initial conduct complaint regarding the CFNIS handling of the case (MPCC‑2011‑045). That complaint was not substantiated by the Canadian Forces Provost Marshal (CFPM) or by the Military Police Complaints Commission (MPCC).

In 2015, however, based on some new information recalled by the complainant, the CFNIS reopened their investigation into the complainant’s criminal allegations. Some additional records were obtained and reviewed and some additional witnesses were interviewed. However, the result was the same as the first investigation: no charges were laid.

The present complaint and review were limited to this second CFNIS investigation.

The Professional Standards Branch of the Office of the CFPM concluded that the CFNIS investigation had been properly done, and that the problem was the complainant’s apparent unwillingness to accept the results of the investigation.

Following its review of the significant amount of Military Police investigation file material, as well as voluminous information disclosed by the complainant, the MPCC concluded that the CFNIS investigation was not deficient. The investigator had made significant efforts to track down and interview other victims of the baby-sitter, as well as local Military Police members from the time who might have had knowledge of the matter. The CFNIS investigative team believed that the complainant had been sexually abused by the baby-sitter, and took the case to a provincial prosecutor. However, the Crown recommended against charges.

In the MPCC’s view, the Crown’s recommendation was no reflection on the CFNIS’s investigative efforts. A number of features of the case would have made it an unlikely candidate for prosecution: the case was almost 40 years old, and those involved, including the baby-sitter, were very young at the time of the alleged offences; and the baby-sitter’s actions were attributable to his victimization by the base chaplain, an active pedophile who was successfully court-martialed.

As a result, the complaint was found to be unsubstantiated by the MPCC.

The MPCC nonetheless made a recommendation. In the course of its review, it was noted that, while the CFNIS cooperated with the complainant’s unsuccessful application for provincial victims of crime benefits, the amount of investigative material disclosed by the Military Police to the benefit adjudicators was very limited and not necessarily reflective of the total results of the investigation. Moreover, the content of this disclosure appeared to have been a key factor in the rejections of the complainant’s benefits application. The MPCC considered that, with the CFNIS investigation now completely closed, they might be in a position to provide a wider range of material from the investigation file in support of the complainant’s application, which is now before the victims of crime review board. Therefore, the MPCC recommended that the CFPM look into providing additional disclosure in respect of the complainant’s case to the provincial board reviewing the complainant’s claim for benefits.

In response to the Commission’s Report, the CFPM accepted the MPCC’s finding and recommendation in this matter.

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