Soldier charged with sex assaults remanded in custody
A Canadian soldier, who was days away from deploying to Afghanistan, appeared in Pembroke court on Monday to face charges stemming from the sexual assaults of four women in and around CFB Petawawa.
Cpl. Christopher Raymond Chaulk, 25, was remanded in custody until Thursday. He was charged this weekend with four counts of sexual assault and four counts of assault.
The charges follow two attacks at CFB Petawawa on May 6 and May 8, as well as two other attacks that occurred near the base last fall.
In one of the attacks, a woman was allegedly assaulted during a home invasion in the married quarters of the base on Wednesday.
Investigators have released few details about the assaults that took place last fall.
Attacks put community on alert
The attacks have sent a ripple effect through the tight-knit community, causing many residents to lock their doors. Given that many men in the community have just been sent on deployment, women living alone feel extra concern.
Many say the base was regarded as a safe place to live, and they can't believe sexual attacks occurred in their community.
"For somewhere that is supposed to be safe, it kind of takes that away from you so you don't get that comfort anymore," said military spouse Joanne Buckle.
One military wife told CTV Ottawa she was unaware of the incidents until she received a phone call over the weekend from her husband who is currently serving in Afghanistan. He told her to lock the doors and be on the lookout.
An arrival from Newfoundland
Chaulk was based in St. John's, Nfld. before arriving at CFB Petawawa for pre-deployment training.
The Canadian Forces National Investigation Service is handling all four cases in partnership with the CFB Petawawa Military Police and the Ontario Provincial Police.
"If this individual is found guilty, we hope the full weight of the justice system is brought to bear against him," said Lt. Col. Keith Ruddiham, the base commander.
"But these instsances should not reflect upon the rest of us serving honourably in uniform."
With a report from CTV Ottawa's Vanessa Lee