Nunavut RCMP officer charged with sexual assault

An RCMP officer who was posted in Nunavut two years ago now faces a charge of sexual assault. The incident is alleged to have happened in Baker Lake.

Incident alleged to have happened 2 years ago in Baker Lake, Nunavut

An RCMP officer who was posted in Baker, Lake, Nunavut, two years ago now faces a charge of sexual assault.

Const. Justin Dickens, 31, was charged in relation to an incident which is alleged to have happened more than two years ago in Baker Lake, Nunavut.

He is accused of a single assault involving a woman, and Dickens was on duty at the time of the alleged incident.

Dickens is currently suspended with pay and on administrative leave in Whale Cove, Nunavut. He was arrested there on Saturday.

Chief superintendant Steve McVarnock, who is the commanding officer of the Nunavut RCMP, said the matter is distressing.

"Obviously the situation, the allegation, the arrest of one of our own members is very distressing to each and every one of us especially here in Nunavut. Certainly it provides sort of a black eye when factored into so many great things that our people are doing day in and day out throughout the territory, and as you know especially in recent months in some very dangerous and difficult circumstances," said McVarnock.

In a release, McVarnock said they are taking the investigation very seriously.

"Canadians have a right of having high expectations and the trust of their national police service. It is our responsibility to live up to and maintain all aspects of these expectations," he said.

The RCMP said they received a complaint about the incident earlier this month, on April 11.

They called the Northwest Territories RCMP ‘G’ division to do a preliminary investigation. Based on that information, the RCMP requested an independent police investigation, which was done by the Ottawa Police Service.

Dickens will appear in court in Baker Lake July 24. He has served with the RCMP for four years, all in Nunavut.