Royal Military College facing new cadet assault allegation
On same week as alleged incident, 2 officer cadets before courts martial on other sexual assault allegations
CBC News has learned military police are investigating a new allegation that a cadet was sexually assaulted at the Royal Military College in Kingston, Ont.
The assault is alleged to have taken place on May 13, the day before the college's high-profile convocation.
Capt. Joanne Labonte said the military's sensitive investigation squad is handling the case.
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"This alleged sexual assault was brought to the attention of the military police by a third party complainant," Labonte wrote in an email to CBC News.
"The Canadian Forces National Investigation Service are investigating this matter and no further information can be offered at this time."
The same week the assault is alleged to have taken place, two officer cadets from the college were brought before courts martial to answer to earlier unrelated allegations of sexual assault.
In one case, a cadet is accused of assaulting two female cadets in separate incidents.
In the other case, a cadet was found guilty of the lesser offence of assault. Officer Cadet J.C. Scott was sentenced to a severe reprimand and a fine of $2,000.
Officials at RMC tell CBC News the school takes sexual misconduct seriously and is crafting a new campaign to deal with the issue.
Assault an 'ever-present threat'
The details of the new case are still unclear, but the timing of the incident is difficult for the college following shocking results of an external review of sexual misconduct in the military.
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Former Supreme Court Justice Marie Deschamps found the Canadian Forces has a misogynistic and sexualized culture in which harassment and abuse are overlooked, underreported and poorly understood.
The findings suggested the military was often a boys club, into which women were reluctantly admitted but only if they tolerated the worst of locker-room antics: swearing, sex jokes and the use of derogatory names for women and female body parts.
Deschamps visited Canada's two military colleges during her review and said during those visits she learned the problem was so acute some cadets considered sexual harassment a rite of passage and said sexual assault is an ever-present threat.
Deschamps reports one officer cadet joked students don't report sexual harassment, because it happens all the time.
This new allegation also follows the CBC's exclusive reports about the alleged harassment of a civilian sexual assault prevention educator who was invited to speak to cadets at RMC.
Last week CBC reported, the general in charge apologized to Julie Lalonde for the "unprofessional behaviour" of the school's cadets and "several incidents that could constitute harassment," after she was invited to address the military's future leaders last fall.
Those reports prompted a backlash on Twitter and by email, with some accusing Lalonde of misandry.
Lalonde told CBC News one correspondent said she was human garbage who ought to hang herself.