A 41-year-old male RCMP officer and a 34-year-old woman facing a list of child abuse allegations were held in custody after making court appearances in Ottawa Thursday.

Ottawa police arrested the officer and the woman, who live in Ottawa, on Tuesday after an investigation at the officer's home.

Police sources told CBC News a child was "chained" in the basement. Sources also said what officers found was the "worst case of abuse police have seen."

The man faces:

  • Three counts of aggravated assault.
  • Three counts of assault with a weapon.
  • One count of aggravated sexual assault.
  • One count of failing to provide the necessaries of life.
  • One count of forcible confinement.

The woman faces:

  • Three counts of aggravated assault.
  • Two counts of assault with a weapon.
  • One count of failing to provide the necessaries of life.
  • One count of forcible confinement.

The names of the accused have not been released to protect the identity of the victims, police said. There is also a court-ordered publication ban on the names of the accused and victims.

Ottawa police Supt. Tyrus Cameron told CBC News police are concerned about the identity of the victims being released, which would "re-victimize" them.

"They are victims of horrific abuse," said Cameron, who is in charge of criminal investigations.

Man worked for RCMP counter-terrorism unit: police sources

The RCMP said the officer has been on leave since May 2011 but the reason is under a court-ordered publication ban. Police sources also told CBC News the man worked for the force's counter-terrorism unit.

The officer was suspended with pay Wednesday, the force said, and an internal investigation has been opened by the RCMP to determine if the officer had complied with the code of ethics.

The man and woman made separate appearances in an Ottawa courtroom Thursday.

The man's next court appearance will be before a doctor Friday morning. The woman is expected to appear via video Friday afternoon.

Police said anyone with information is asked to contact Ottawa police at 613-236-1222, ext. 5944, or Crime Stoppers at 613-233-8477.