Former Ottawa cadet faces sexual assault charges after alleged victim identified him as abuser

Mark Gervais, 28, is facing nine charges related to allegations of sexual assault involving a 15-year-old girl in Ottawa. He served as a member of the Royal Canadian Air Cadet Program, which is a cadet organization for young people aged 12 to 17, and ran for a parliamentary seat in 2015. In a statement, Gervais apologized to his parents and to the girl, but did not specify a reason for the accusations, according to a CBC News report. His lawyer told CBC News that Gervais admitted to the charges. The girl said the alleged assault happened in 2015.

Gervais posted bail of $20,000 on Monday. In light of the allegations, Ottawa Community Safety and Correctional Services had suspended him from his position as a youth coach in the CADP while a public affairs officer said that Gervais’ position with the cadet organization had not been “terminated” and that it was an allegation that had been “investigated and dealt with by community safety and correctional services.” An attorney general spokesperson told CBC News that Gervais would likely have to be disqualified from future work in the CADP due to the accusations. The organization has approximately 3,000 cadets.

The BBC reports that similar allegations against other cadets have been brought to light in Canada. In 2017, Cadet Paul Godfrey, a 5th District cadet, was charged with inappropriate behaviour towards an 18-year-old trainee during a coaching session and in 2008, Tim Whitby, an instructor at the organization, was charged with sexual assault against a trainee cadet, the Ottawa Citizen reported. This is not the first time Cadet Canada has been in the headlines. In 2015, a former Cadet Canada member, Ivan Alves, was arrested on charges that he sexually assaulted a young female cadet he was commanding while on duty and while off duty.

Read the full story at CBC News.


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