A sexual assault investigation by Ottawa police has resulted in more than 20 charges being laid against one of the force's officers and the possibility of more to come, investigators said Wednesday.
Police offered few details about the allegations against Const. Eric Post, but did say the list of 21 offences he now stands accused of committing concern four alleged victims.
The charges against Post, 47, include two counts of sexual assault, two counts of forcible confinement, five counts of assault and one count of pointing a firearm.
The force did not immediately respond to a request for an interview on the case, but Chief Charles Bordeleau issued a statement acknowledging the potential impact on city residents.
"These allegations and charges are very serious," Bordeleau said. "They run counter to our values and I recognize this information will be disturbing to hear for our community and the members of our service. We must now allow the court process to proceed."
Police did not indicate when they launched their investigation or how far back the allegations date, nor did they offer details on Post's purported connection with his accusers.
The force said it took the step of notifying Ontario's Special Investigations Unit, which probes police-involved incidents in which someone is accused of sexual assault, and handled the case at the unit's request.
The force's Sexual Assault and Child Abuse unit led the investigation, police said.
A spokeswoman for the Special Investigations Unit said it was notified of the situation on Aug. 20
"Given the circumstances at play, the SIU Director exercised his discretion and decided to leave the investigation in the hands of the police service," Monica Hudon said in a statement, adding that the SIU would offer no further comment since the case is now before the courts.
Police said Post has been suspended from the force since June, adding he will remain so until further notice.
Other charges against Post currently include four counts of harassment by repeated communication, two counts of uttering threats, intimidation by threat of violence and forcible entry.
Police said they suspect there may be other alleged victims in the case and urged anyone with information to come forward as they continue their investigation.
Michelle McQuigge , The Canadian Press