An Ottawa police officer has pleaded not guilty in the sexual assault of a female under their custody in 2008.

Sgt. Steve Desjourdy was charged with sexual assault by the independent Special Investigations Unit in March 2011.

His trial is set to begin in September before an Ontario Superior Court judge.

"In order to not have this extend another year, so we could get it done this year," said Matt Skoff of the Ottawa Police Association about the timing. 

"We feel confident in our position and we want to get this matter resolved so that Steven can get this back to his normal life and get this over with."

Desjourdy is currently doing administrative work at police headquarters.

A publication ban is in place on the identity of the woman who was assaulted, with the Crown and defence working on an agreed statement of fact to avoid her taking the stand.

"It can be very stressful, being cross-examined in any proceeding can be stressful," said defence lawyer Tim Gleason. 

"As you can imagine if you're a victim of a sexual assault, even an alleged sexual assault, the stress of reliving the event alone would be quite difficult."

With a report from CTV Ottawa's John Hua