Correctional officer charged in historical sexual assault investigation at Kitchener women's prison
Prisoner advocate group calls allegations 'egregious'
A correctional officer at Grand Valley Institution for Women in Kitchener has been charged with sexual assault following an investigation, police say.
On May 20, the Waterloo Regional Police Service was contacted by a woman with allegations of a sexual assault involving an inmate and a correctional officer.
The allegations are historical in nature, police say, listing Sept. 1, 2016 as the "incident date" in a release.
On July 1, a 56-year-old man was charged with one count of sexual assault. He is due to appear in court in August.
The Correctional Service of Canada says it's aware of the charge and that the officer has not "been in the workplace since 2017."
The Union of Canadian Correctional Officers says it will not comment on the allegations as the case moves through the court system.
'Extensive histories of trauma'
The Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies, which advocates for women in prisons, is calling the arrest concerning and the allegations "egregious."
Emilie Coyle, the group's executive director, said in a statement that many incarcerated women "have experienced abuse prior to their prison sentence, including sexual abuse, and have extensive histories of trauma which is further perpetuated through their experience of incarceration."
The group noted the arrest of a Kitchener officer follows the May arrest of a correctional officer at the Nova Institution for Women in Truro, N.S. That officer faces six charges of sexual assault, six charges of breach of trust and one charge of communication for the purpose of obtaining sexual services.
Correctional Service Canada did not immediately provide a comment on the case at Grand Valley Institution for Women.