An Ottawa courtroom was silent and the judge at one point shielded his face from onlookers as videos of an 11-year-old boy naked and restrained in the basement of his family's home were shown at the trial of an Ottawa RCMP officer and his wife.

The trial continued Tuesday for the 44-year-old Mountie and his 36-year-old wife, who face several charges alleging severe long-term child abuse.

Each is on trial for aggravated assault, forcible confinement and failing to provide the necessaries of life. The woman is also charged with assaulting the child with a weapon, while the man is charged with sexual assault causing bodily harm and assault with a weapon.

Both have pleaded not guilty. Neither accused can be named to protect the victim's identity.

The Mountie was suspended upon being charged and remains suspended without pay, RCMP said.

The five videos, made one month before the couple was arrested in February 2013, were seized from the father's cellphone.

They show the small boy, breathing heavily and looking gaunt, with his ribs sticking out. In the videos, a man is heard repeatedly taunting and humiliating the boy, who was tied to the basement wall.

In some of the videos, the boy is shivering. In others, he breaks down crying, reported the CBC's Laurie Fagan.

Onlookers inside the courtroom were seen wiping away tears and the last video left Justice Robert Maranger shielding his face from those in court, who were left in a stunned silence, Fagan said.

Father admitted to tying down boy

The father has previously admitted in court to restraining the boy with a chain and plastic ties.

On Monday, the court saw the woman's police interview via video, which was taken after her arrest. She told police her 11-year-old stepson was "out of control" and that she feared for her safety, but denied any wrongdoing.

In 2013, the RCMP said the father had been on leave since May 2011. The reason for that remains under a court-ordered publication ban.

Police sources previously told CBC News the man was a member of the force's counter-terrorism unit.

The trial continues Wednesday as the court is expected to watch videotaped interviews with the victim.


  • A previous version of this story referred to the man on trial as a former Mountie. In fact, while the man has been suspended from duty without pay since being charged in 2013, he remains a regular member of the RCMP.
    Sep 21, 2015 1:59 PM ET