Former military chaplain faces sexual assault charges

  • February 19, 2010
{mosimage}OTTAWA - A former military Chaplain General, a Roman Catholic, has been charged with sexual assault following alleged incidents 38 years ago at Canadian Forces Base Borden.

Military investigators confirmed the charge on Feb. 16. The current Chaplain General, Brigadier-General David Kettle, issued a statement in which he said his office is co-operating fully in an investigation by the Military Police and the Roman Catholic Military Ordinariate of Canada.

After his arrest in Barrie, Roger Bazin was charged with buggery, gross indecency and indecent assault on a male, according to the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service.

A captain at the time of the alleged crimes in 1972, Bazin, now retired, rose  to the rank of Brigadier General and was head of the military chaplaincy from 1992-95.

“As the present Chaplain General, I was shocked by these allegations,” Kettle said. “I take very seriously the charges laid against a former Chaplain General for alleged actions committed while serving as a unit chaplain in 1972.”

The investigation stemmed from June 2009 allegations against Bazin. He is scheduled to appear in Barrie Provincial Court on April 28.

“The military police consider this to be a serious matter and will thoroughly investigate any such allegations related to CF (Canadian Forces) members, DND employees or defence establishments,” said Canadian Forces Provost Marshal Col. Tim Grubb in a statement. “These types of alleged acts, if proven, are illegal and represent unacceptable conduct.”

Kettle would not comment on the charges but added: “I am certain that I speak for all Chaplains when I say that my heart goes out to the victims of such crimes, and their families.”

In his statement, Kettle said chaplains undergo a thorough selection process before being accepted into the military.

“The Interfaith Committee of Canadian Military Chaplaincy (ICCMC) . . . is committed to ensuring that chaplains in the Canadian Forces uphold, for the welfare of all, the highest moral standard as dictated in the Code of Ethics for Chaplains.”

Please support The Catholic Register

Unlike many media companies, The Catholic Register has never charged readers for access to the news and information on our website. We want to keep our award-winning journalism as widely available as possible. But we need your help.

For more than 125 years, The Register has been a trusted source of faith-based journalism. By making even a small donation you help ensure our future as an important voice in the Catholic Church. If you support the mission of Catholic journalism, please donate today. Thank you.