Retired soldier faces sex assault charge from when he was based at CFB Shilo
A retired soldier has been charged with sexual assault stemming from when he was based in Manitoba.
The Canadian Armed Forces says its National Investigation Service has charged former Warrant Officer Jason Buenacruz with sexual assault under the Criminal Code.
Buenacruz also faces two charges of abuse of a subordinate and one count of conduct to the prejudice of good order and discipline under the National Defence Act.
The charges relate to a reported sexual assault in May 2016 against a member of the Canadian Armed Forces.
Buenacruz was a regular forces member at Canadian Forces Base Shilo near Brandon, Man.
Lt.-Col. Francis Bolduc of the National Investigation Service says the charges reflect how relentlessly the service investigates all allegations of sexual assault.
Bolduc says even if the subject of an investigation leaves the Forces, investigators continue efforts to bring an accused to justice.
"Just because the member was a retired member [does not mean] that you can't be held accountable for your actions," he said.
No date or location have been set for a possible court martial.
The military says regular force members are subject to the Code of Service Discipline at all times. It says military courts continue to have jurisdiction over retired personnel, if a member was subject to the code at the time of an alleged offence.
In the fall, the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service launched a specialized sexual assault response team where members are trained on how to interview sexual assault complainants.
"We recognized we needed specialized training," said Bolduc.
"That doesn't mean we didn't take those cases seriously before, we just realized there's maybe other ways to deal with the victim and that's what we're trying to do — apply the best practice."
Complaints against Canadian Forces members can be made to the National Investigation Service or to police detachments, he said.
with files from CBC's Laura Glowacki