The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) is reopening 23 cases of alleged sexual assault after revisiting dozens of files previously dismissed by military police as “unfounded.”
An internal review last year found nearly one in every three sexual-assault complaints logged with military police between 2010 and 2016 was deemed unfounded – a designation applied when investigators determine an offence did not occur. In a statement from the Department of National Defence Friday, the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service (CFNIS) reported completing an internal review of all 2010-2016 Canadian Forces Military Police (CF MP) sexual assault files concluded as unfounded.
The CFNIS assigned a member that reviewed the 179 files from early 2017 until July 2018. The review found that 113 cases remained as unfounded, while another 43 cases had been misclassified. The CFNIS identified 23 cases for further investigation. The 23 cases identified for further investigation may require investigators to conduct additional interviews, ensure better documentation or employ other investigative tools.
“I was invited to conduct a review of our files as a means to assess the situation within the Military Police investigative files and take corrective action if necessary,” said CFNIS commanding officer Lieutenant-Colonel Kevin Cadman in a statement. “This review was beneficial in many ways and we continuously assess best practices to ensure DND and the CAF communities receive the highest standard of policing service.”
The Canadian Forces Provost Marshal and CF MP Group commander directed the CFNIS to conduct the internal review following a report published in the Globe and Mail in 2017. The CFNIS is a unit within the independent CF MP Gp whose mandate is to investigate serious and sensitive matters in relation to DND property, DND employees and CAF personnel serving in Canada and around the world.