Sexual assault charges laid against a military member in Colorado Springs, USA

News release

May 25, 2020 – Ottawa – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

On May 20, 2020, the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service (CFNIS) charged a member of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) with sexual assault and an Indecent Act contrary to the National Defence Act, pursuant to the Criminal Code of Canada. The charges are in response to a number of incidents with one military victim, which took place in Ottawa, ON between the summer of 2018 and summer 2019. 

Corporal James Edward Palmer, now with Canadian Forces Support Unit (CFSU) in Colorado Springs, USA, was a member of CFSU (Ottawa) at the moment of the incidents. Member faces the following charges. 

  • Two (2) counts of Sexual Assault contrary to section 130 of the NDA, pursuant to Section 271 of the CCC;
  • One (1) count of Indecent Act contrary to section 130 of the NDA, pursuant to Section 173(1) of the CCC.

The military victim reported incidents to Military Police on Jun 26, 2019. On same day, CFNIS was advised of complaint and assumed investigative responsibility for this file. 

The matter is now proceeding in accordance with the military justice system for possible court martial at a date and location to be determined. In all cases, the subject of charges is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Additional multimedia

Canadian Forces Military Police stock photo, Photo: Avr Rachael Allen © 2017 DND-MDN Canada


“The Canadian Forces National Investigation Service investigates all allegations of sexual assault to their fullest extent, regardless of when or where the offences are alleged to have been committed. These charges are the result of a thorough criminal investigation, and are indicative of our ongoing perseverance in ensuring that those who commit offences of this nature within the CAF are held accountable for their actions under the law.” 

Lieutenant-Commander Bryan MacLeod, Acting Commanding Officer, Canadian Forces National Investigation Service 

Quick facts

  • The CFNIS is a specialized unit established within Canadian Forces Military Police Group (CF MP Gp). Its primary mandate is to investigate serious and sensitive matters in relation to Department of National Defence (DND) property, DND employees and CAF personnel serving in Canada and around the world. The CF MP Gp and the CFNIS conduct police investigations independently, without interference and in accordance with the highest professional standards. 

Associated links


Major Jean-Marc Mercier
Public Affairs Officer
Canadian Forces Provost Marshal and Canadian Forces Military Police Group
Phone: 613-949-1098

Media Relations
Department of National Defence

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