There’s only one person throughout this whole sordid affair that appears to have tried his best within the constraints of the defective military justice system.
He was a military police investigator with the CFSIU back in 1980.
Actually, he was a base military police officer until March of 1980, then he became the acting section commander of the CFSIU at CFB Edmonton.
He is the one who investigated Captain McRae.
He’s also the one who had to ask base commander Colonel Dan E. Munro to allow McRae to be held in closed custody as he was worried that McRae was going to go “talk” to the families of the children involved.
McRae was a Captain.
J.S. the father of P.S. was a Sgt.
Most of the other fathers of the kids involved were also junior rank members of the Canadian Forces.
My father at the time was a lowly corporal and wouldn’t have been able to defy the wishes of Captain McRae, or anyone else up the chain of command for that matter.
The following section from the National Defence Act would have ensured that the parents of the children involved would have followed the wishes and desires of the chain of command, whether they liked it or not.
This is the file for the CFSIU investigation paperwork for the Captain Father Angus McRae matter in 1980.
First is the Charge Sheet. As the Summary Investigation flaw detailed in LS-311E indicated, it was the commanding officer of the accused that determined which charges the accused would face and which charges would be dismissed. In this case, it was CFB Namao Base Commander Colonel Dan E. Munro who would have been required by Section 139 and 140 of the 1970 National Defence Act.
Second is that Captain McRae plead innocent to the charges until P.S. was called into the court martial hearing as a witness. Once P.S. gave his statement, McRae changed his plea from innocent to guilty.
McRae’s defence officer appears to have tried to use the fact that the Catholic Church had conducted an Ecclesiastical Trial against McRae and found him guilty therefore the court martial should not be able to find McRae guilty again. The Ecclesiastical Trial paperwork is at the end of the court martial transcripts.
What could possibly be the reason that the CFNIS has been unable to bring charges against P.S. ?
As I mentioned previously, if P.S. were to be criminally charged he would have to be charged under the Juvenile Delinquents Act (JDA).
The JDA didn’t really allow for any type of prison sentence for youths between the age of 14 through 18 as the JDA was more concerned with rehabilitation of the youth.
And as I’ve since learnt, children between the ages of 7 to 14 could be charged for criminal code offences, but to do so the Crown would have had to prove that the child knew right from wrong and understood the outcome of their actions.
P.S. has already had numerous convictions in his adult life for child sexual assaults. By facing more charges it’s not like he’s going to suffer any further loss of liberties or freedoms or further harm to his reputation.
The problem for the Canadian Forces is thus:
Captain McRae was found guilty by means of a courts martial for molesting P.S. on a defence establishment.
The Canadian Armed Forces and the Department of National Defence at the time were responsible for all aspects of security and access control to the Defence Establishment.
Captain McRae at the time of the abuse was a member of the Regular Forces and was subject to the Code of Service Discipline around the clock whether he was on-duty or off-duty.
If the CFNIS were to get serious about locating all of the children from CFB Namao who were sexually abused by P.S., how many children would they find? Would the Alberta crown still turn a blind eye if it became aware that P.S. had molested over a dozen children on his own?
We know that P.S. was abused by Captain McRae. Was P.S. abusing the children he was babysitting as a direct result of the abuse he was suffering at the hands of Captain McRae?
It is also conceivable that P.S. was either requested or coerced by Captain McRae into bringing younger children over to the chapel to be molested by Captain McRae and possibly P.S.
If P.S. had been charged and brought in for questioning and in his defence he made statements to the effect that Captain McRae had forced him to bring young children over to the base chapel to be abused, that opens up a whole new can of worms for the military, especially if it came out the the military police or the Canadian Forces Special Investigations Unit in 1980 were aware, or should have reasonably been aware that Captain McRae was forcing or inducing P.S. to bring children over to the chapel for Captain McRae’s pleasure.
I did raise the possibility of interference in the CFNIS investigation due to the potential for civil liability during my Judicial Review. And yes, the Justice did say that this wasn’t a valid assumption as I had no idea who the P.S. was in the Court of Queen’s Bench action against the Minister of National Defence.
However, as of July 2015, I have verification from P.S. himself that P.S. is the person who filed the $4.3 million dollar action against the Canadian Forces. P.S. would only confirm the action was his, but he would not speak to the settlement.
If P.S. was found in a court of law to have molested myself, my brother, P.G., D.O., S.O., M.O., J.P., and the other numerous John and Janes Does, would this establish a direct link between the victims of P.S. and the Department of National Defence by way of Canadian Armed Forces officer Captain Father Angus McRae?
With the laying of charges against P.S., linking the abuse we suffered at the hands of P.S. on CFB Namao to the actions of Canadian Armed Forces officer Captain Father Angus McRae would be a very trivial matter in much the same sense that P.S. was able to link the abuse he suffered on CFB Namao to the Minister of National Defence.
Right now, the Minister of National Defence and the Provost Marshal have more reasons than not to scuttle any investigation into P.S.
In November of 2008 the Canadian Forces Director of Civil Claims and Liabilities accepted General Legal Liability for the Personal Damages that P.S. had suffered as a result of his abuse on CFB Namao at the hands of Captain McRae.
If P.S. had been charged by the CFNIS for molesting children on CFB Namao, would P.S. have plead innocent due to the duress that Captain McRae had placed him under due to the sexual abuse that McRae was inflicting upon P.S.?
This would have opened up the path for civil actions to be brought against the Canadian Armed Forces, the Department of National Defence, and the Minister of National Defence by the victims of both P.S. and of Captain McRae.
Remember, in civil court you only have to prove your argument based on probability.
If P.S. had never been abused by Captain McRae, would the victims of P.S. have ever suffered sexual abuse on that base?
The children that lived on CFB Namao were there at the pleasure of the Canadian Forces. Everyone on that base who was subject to the Code of Service Discipline were employees of the Canadian Forces.
If we were abused by P.S. and as a result of the attitudes in the Canadian Forces that resulted from military policy CFAO 19-20 and the Canadian Forces tried to cure us of our apparent “homosexuality” by the use of conversion therapy, is the Canadian Forces further liable? Don’t forget, the social workers that we were paired up with were regular force members of the Canadian Forces who were subject to the Code of Service Discipline.
Without charges being brought against P.S., the Department of Justice could argue in civilian court that we had never been abused, that we were either just lying, or that we were confused.
The Department of Justice could further argue in court that only P.S. was sexually abused on CFB Namao as he is the only person that Captain McRae was ever charged with molesting. And surely if other children were being sexualy abused by Captain McRae, then the military police and the CFSIU would have obviously heard about that, right?
Neat how that works out, eh?
And then there’s the other problem.
The Catholic Clergy within the defence community.
The Canadian Forces deemed male-on-male child sexual abuse to be “acts of homosexuality”.
Captain McRae had been investigated for “acts of homosexuality” in 1973. That’s seven years prior to his conviction in 1980.
If it were found out that the Canadian Forces were moving the kiddie-diddling clergy around just like the civilian churches were doing from the ’50s to the ’90s, what repercussions would that have for the military’s public image, not to mention the odds of a successful civil action against the Canadian Forces?
The Department of Justice on behalf of the Canadian Armed Forces wouldn’t be able to argue that the Canadian Forces had no idea of what Captain McRae was capable of before they posted Captain McRae to CFB Namao. The Canadian Forces investigated McRae for “acts of homosexuality” in 1973 at RMC Kingston. Subsequently the Canadian Forces investigated and prosecuted Captain McRae for Acts of Homosexuality on CFB Namao in May of 1980.
Captain McRae’s court martial isn’t the only one that I’ve seen where the military refered to male-on-male sexual abuse involving persons under the age of 18 as “acts of homosexuality”.
If a pattern emerged which indicated that the Canadian Forces were moving known kiddie-diddlers around from one base to the next in the hopes that the problem would go away, would this make the Canadian Forces even more susceptible to civil actions from former military dependants whom were sexually abused in the walled-off company towns that the Department of National Defence ran across the country?
The Canadian Armed Forces obviously were concerned enough about the lawsuits being brought against the Catholic Archdiocese in Canada to change their rules to the point that they made it much more difficult for a victim of Canadian Forces military clergy to prove that they were a member of the Catholic church.
I was baptized at the base chapel on CFB Shearwater in Nova Scotia. The Military Ordinariate has never responded to my two requests.
And this isn’t by accident either. If I can’t prove that I was baptized, then why would I have any involvement with the church? When grandma came to live with us at CFB Summerside, she enrolled me in Sunday Bible school. While we were stationed at CFB Namao, Grandma took my brother and I to Sunday service every Sunday. I had my first communion at the base chapel on CFB Namao. I remember going into the confessional for the first time and talking to father McRae through the funny little window. McRae said one of his jokes and made me laugh. Even when we got punted down to CFB Greisbach, Grandma took my brother and I to Sunday service at the base chapel. After Grandma moved out, Sue promised my brother and I that we’d never have to go to church again. I don’t think my father was very religious at all. I can’t speak for my mother. And I really don’t think Sue was that much into religion.
How could the CFNIS have known anything about P.S. in 2011 when the abuse occurred back in 1978 through 1980? That’s the thing though. Sgt. Hancock knew about P.S. when Hancock interviewed me in March of 2011. Sgt. Christian Cyr knew about P.S. when Cyr talked to me on May 3rd, 2011.
A basic CPIC records check would have told the CFNIS quite a bit about P.S., but I don’t think this was the case in my matter.
In the information age, it would be very easy for the Canadian Forces to run some sort of database that sends alerts or flags when specific names are entered into their systems. A name like P.S. when entered into their CFNIS could be set to trigger alerts that tell the CFNIS to consult with the Judge Advocate General for example, or to contact a specific lawyer at the Department of Justice.
I don’t think that P.S. was bullshitting when he said to Sgt. Tenaschuk on August 11th, 2011 that “anything he had been involved in as a youth has already been handled by the military”. I think that by way of the out of court settlement reached with P.S. that the Minister of National Defence has agreed to handle things for P.S..
When I made friends with an RCMP Officer back in 2012, I gave this RCMP officer a copy of the Edmonton Journal newspaper article from 1985 which indicated that P.S. had been arrested and convicted in 1984 for molesting a boy in Manitoba, and that he had also been arrested and convicted in 1985 for molesting two boys, one on CFB Namao and one in the City of Edmonton. The RCMP constable ran P.S.’s name through CPIC. The RCMP officer wouldn’t say much more than that P.S. was on a sex offender’s registry, and that P.S. had numerous more charges and convictions between 1985 and the year 2000 for child sexual assaults, assault, and robbery.
P.S. tried to commit suicide in January of 2000.
This got me thinking. What if those child sexual assault charges weren’t new charges? What if the majority of charges related to Sexual Assault that P.S. faced between 1985 and the year 2000 were related to children from Canadian Forces Base Namao?
What if P.S. tried to kill himself because he realized that there were potentially so many children from CFB Namao that could possibly bring charges against him that he would never be free of the constant and ongoing investigations and charges?
Mr. P.S. lived on CFB Petawawa from the summer of 1980 until about 1985 when his father was posted back to CFB Edmonton. How many kids did he diddle on CFB Petawawa?
What if the Minister of National Defence, in agreeing to settle P.S.’s action out of court, also agreed that the military police would no longer bring charges against P.S. for assaults that P.S. had committed on CFB Namao?
Immunity Agreements are not unheard of. Procedures exist at both the Federal and Provincial levels.
Maybe it wasn’t an immunity agreement.
After all, members of the CFNIS are subject to section 83 of the National Defence Act and must obey the lawful commands of their superiors.
As was found during the Fynes Public Interest Hearing, investigators with the CFNIS do not run their own investigations. CFNIS investigations are directed and overseen by the chain of command.
Maybe it was just a good old fashioned order from somewhere up the chain of command that P.S. was not to ever be charged again for crimes that he committed on Canadian Forces Base Namao.
Maybe this was why the CFNIS were so eager to grab this case.
The CFNIS had absolutely no problem handing my complaint against Earl Ray Stevens over to the Toronto Police Service. The TPS was successful in bringing six charges of sexual assault against Mr. Stevens in a matter of weeks.
Mr. Stevens at the time he was molesting me was not an employee of the Canadian Armed Forces. The Canadian Armed Forces bear absolutely no responsibility for the actions of Earl Ray Stevens. If I wanted to sue Mr. Stevens, I would have to go after Mr. Stevens himself.
This is why the CFNIS were more than happy to let the TPS get involved and let the TPS bring charges against Earl. It was no skin off their teeth.
When I spoke to Fred Cunningham back on November 27th, 2011 he said that the base military police tried to call in the RCMP to deal with P.S., but the the “brass” wouldn’t allow for that.
If you remember from my earlier posts, unlike what Lt. Col. Gilles Sansterre tried telling me in January of 2012, Fred Cunningham wasn’t just some schmuck telling me incorrect 2nd hand news. Warrant Officer Fred R. Cunningham was the acting section commander of the Canadian Forces Special Investigations Unit at CFB Edmonton, and as I would learn from CFSIU investigation report DS-120-10-80, W/O Cunningham had been not only tasked by the base security officer, Captain David Pilling, with investigating Captain McRae, W/O Cunningham had also been involved in the interrogation and arrest of Captain McRae.
Both Fred Cunningham in 2011 and J.S. in 2015 stated that the whole investigation into Captain McRae came about because of the base military police being alerted to the fact that P.S. was having sex with young children on the base and that other parents had complained.
I have established that P.S. was born on June 20th, 1965. This was verified by an RCMP officer as well as two newspaper articles. One newspaper article was from August 1985 which said that P.S. was 20 years old. Another newspaper article from February 2015 stated that P.S. was 49 years old. If his birthday is in June of the year, both of those ages work out with 1965 being his birth year.
Under the Juvenile Delinquents Act, P.S. would have been criminally liable for any criminal code offence that he committed as of the day of his 14th birthday. Remember how desperate Sgt. Christian Cyr was to get me to believe that P.S. was only 13 when he was found buggering me in the spring of 1980? That wasn’t accidental. Anyone who hadn’t yet attained the day of their 14th birthday could not be held criminally responsible for their criminal code offences.
Why did the “brass” not want the base military police calling in the RCMP to deal with P.S.? It wasn’t because they felt sorry for P.S.. It was something much more devious and sinister.
Back when I started on this journey in 2012 I thought that it was possible that P.S. never got in trouble becuase his father had rank. And by rank I mean captain and above. As it turns out, J.S. was only a Sgt.in 1980. That wasn’t nearly high enough to get much in the way of a favour out of the chain of command.
All that J.S. being a Sgt in 1980 meant is that when P.S. beat me up behind the rec centre in the spring of 1980 and told me that his father outranked my father and that if I told anyone about what P.S. had done to me sexually that his father would have mine thrown out of the military, he wasn’t completely full of bluster. I’m sure that Sgt. J.S. could have caused problems for Cpl. Gill if he wanted too.
The Canadian Forces had a problem on their hands. And they wanted it to go away with as little public knowledge as possible.
Captain McRae was apparently the first person with an officer’s rank in the military that had been convicted of “homosexual acts” with children. Think about that for a minute. We’re not talking about some lowly corporal who had sex with the neighbour’s 13-year old daughter while he was drunk. No. We’re talking about a Captain molesting over 25 male children on a secure defence establishment.
You can bet your bottom dollar that NDHQ in Ottawa was calling the shots and was deciding what would happen.
The Canadian Forces had three reasons in the National Defence Act that would allow them to move a courts martial “in-camera” and out of the public eye.
Reason 1: Public Safety. Reason 2: Defence. Reason 3: Public Morals.
None of these reasons involve protecting the identities of the children. As can be seen from this snippet of Donald Joseph Sullivan’s CMAC appeal, the courts can easily protect the identities of the victims by simply removing all identifying information.
So, what does this have to do with the “brass” not allowing the RCMP to be called in to deal with P.S.?
If the RCMP had arrested and charged P.S. with molesting the number of children that he did, he would have been dealt with under the Juvenile Delinquents Act. This would have posed a very significant problem for the Canadian Forces and their goal of keeping the details of Captain McRae’s crimes out of the public eye.
And yes, the Criminal Code of Canada that was in force at the time said that those who had attained their 14th birthday could be convicted of an offence. It should also be noted that the prosecution of children under the age of 14 wasn’t impossible, just the prosecution had to prove that the child was “competent to know the nature and consequences of his conduct and to appreciate that it was wrong”.
Section 33 of the Juvenile Delinquents Act makes it a crime for any adult to contribute to the delinquency of a minor.
The adult who was responsible for the delinquency of a minor could be fined and sentenced by the Juvenile courts. This in turn meant that any details that didn’t directly identfy P.S. could be made public. And this is specifically what DND didn’t want. The Canadian Forces and DND wanted none of this to be made public.
The Juvenile Delinquents Act only required the name and other means of identifying the child be withheld from publication.
The Canadian Forces would have been pilloried in the eye of the public had the press learnt that a 50 something year old officer in the Canadian Armed Forces was not only committing “homosexual acts” with boys as young as 6 on the base, the public would have been equally appalled to learn that Captain McRae had been “training” P.S. in the fine art of child molestation.
And then there’s the whole question of the “working” relationship between P.S. and Captain McRae. I can clearly remember 5 different visits in which P.S. took me over to the base chapel to see Captain McRae, or ‘father’ as my grandmother would allow me to call him. These visits always occurred on days when P.S. wasn’t babysitting. P.S. would usually find me playing somewhere on base and insist that I come to the chapel with him. On one of these occasions, I had been with my father as my father worked on his motorcycle at the storage unit by the telephone exchange.
P.S. came right up to my father asked my father if my father wanted P.S. to look after me. My father told me to go with P.S. on this visit.
I just thought of something as I typed this. Is this why Richard feigned ignorance about P.S. whenever anyone asked him about what happened on CFB Namao?
When the whole Captain Father Angus McRae fiasco blew up in June of 1980, did my father realize what he had done?
This would have been quite the thing to admit, that you sent your own son over to visit with a kiddie diddler. It would have been very hard for my father to have not known about this. CFB Namao was an isolated community north of Edmonton. 25 children had been molested by McRae. An untold number of children had been molested by P.S.. P.S. getting caught molesting children is what triggered the investigation into McRae. Everyone on that base would have known something.
The visits to McRae were almost identical. We’d play board games for a short while. We might watch some TV or listen to some records. Then Captain McRae would tell P.S. to get the grape juice. That’s what he called it, “grape juice”. I always remember it as being really sickly sweet. Sickly sweet grape juice. Almost like really sweet cough medicine. I never remember anything after this. I always remember becoming “aware” at other places on the base, usually the rec centre. On one of these occasions somebody called my grandmother to come and get me. She was furious. She wanted me to tell her who the kids were that gave me the alcohol. I was terrified. If you ever saw my grandmother in one of her rages, you’d understand. She then accused me of stealing her booze. She must have counted her flats of beer and her empties a few times before she realized that I didn’t take her beer.
In a way I’m thankful for the “grape juice” or as James Paluck informed me, the “Manischewitz wine”. I can’t honestly remember anything from the visits to the chapel and what occurred after the wine. I know I had rectal bleeding back then, and I had always assumed that was from P.S.. But yeah, I’d have to be pretty fucking naive to think that nothing was occurring in the rectory attached to the chapel when I was in the presence of two prolific kiddie diddlers.
I remember a good dozen times in the year and a half that P.S. was our babysitter in which he abused me and my brother together down in the basement on our uncle Doug’s cot. P.S. wasn’t subtle in his abuse either. He could get quite physical. I guess he was taking everything that Captain McRae was doing to him out on us. He almost always molested my brother and I together as it was easier for him to keep an eye on the two of us least one of us go off and babble to someone else about what P.S. was doing. P.S. loved digital penetration. I know he attempted anal with me a few times and actually succeeded on the day we were caught in his bedroom.
I saw P.S. have intercourse with a girl younger than I was. All I really remember about her is she wore a white dress, and had blond hair in pig tails. I would have been between 7 and 8 at the time. P.S. would have been older than his 14th birthday. P.S. had her over by the curling club and the Canex. She really didn’t want to be there. I wasn’t with P.S. that day. It was summer time. I think I was heading over to the arena for who knows what reasons. They were behind the Canex building towards the arena. She screamed. I still cringe thinking about that. There were four other boys I was aware of that P.S. abused. I didn’t know them that well. One kid left the base in the summer of 1979. I don’t know where his father was posted to. One of the other boys arrived in the summer of 1979. One of the other boys were long term on that base. All I remember about this last boy is that he was in my Red Cross swimming classes at the base pool. My family was punted off that base in October of 1980. No matter how hard I try, I can’t remember their names.
And Captain McRae wasn’t the only adult that P.S. was involved with on CFB Namao. As I described to Sgt. Tenaschuk during the 2015 to 2018 portion of CFNIS investigation GO 2011-5754, P.S. had cornered me at one of the public swims at the base pool. P.S. directed me into the sauna. There was an older man in the sauna sitting at the far end. P.S. escorted me over and told this man what my name was. This older man smiled at me and he put his hand on my shoulder and said that I was really cute. He asked me if I knew how to give a good blow job. P.S. replied that I was a really good. P.S. then went over and stood watch at the door. All I really remember about this old guy is he was a little on the pudgy side and he had a very close shaved white beard. I gave this man the blow job he wanted. As I’m typing this, I’m actually amazed at how many blowjobs I gave out on that base.
Guy with white beard = 1; P.S. = alot; Captain McRae = only P.S. would know.
Another former dependant from CFB Namao contacted me in the summer of 2012. James had his own list of names of children that P.S. had abused.
So, it’s quite clear that we’re not talking about P.S. inappropriately touching a single kid out of “childhood curiosity and experimentation”. He had access to numerous children under the age of 10 on that base. P.S. definitely should have been prosecuted. He would have probably received the help that he so desperately needed. But, I digress.
From what both retired Warrant Officer Fred Cunningham and Sgt. J.S. have stated, there were well over 25 children from CFB Namao that were caught up in the McRae / P.S. affair. I spoke to the younger brother of a trio of boys from the same family. Two boys were in the Canadian Forces later in life. The eldest boy never joined. The eldest boy killed himself just a few years ago. The younger brother blames the sexual abuse on CFB Namao and their dealings with the military social worker when their family was posted to CFB Borden in Ontario. I’m just wondering how many other kids involved with the Captain McRae child sex scandal from CFB Namao committed suicide or had lingering problems not only from the abuse but from the manner in which the military dealt with the victims.
6 – 9 is far short of 25. But you have to realize that Captain McRae was being investigated for “Acts of Homosexuality” by the dread CFSIU. The CFSIU were responsible for enforcing CFAO 19-20
If you were a service member of the Canadian Armed Forces in 1980, would you want it to be known that your son was participating in “Acts of Homosexuality”? Nope, didn’t think so. So, I think a lot of serving parents wouldn’t let their kids be interviewed by the CFSIU out of fear of their sons being listed as being engaged in homosexual behaviour.
So, back to the question posed at the start of this post.
Q: Why weren’t the Queen’s Cowboys called in?
A: Fear of the public discovering that DND and the CF couldn’t protect children living on the bases in Canada.
If you thought that yesterday’s post relating to the 3-year time bar flaw was interesting, you ain’t seen anything yet.
Legislative Summary LS-311E detailed another interesting flaw that existed in the National Defence Act prior to 1998. The flaw had been temporarily addressed via an administrative order in November of 1997, but nonetheless this flaw was so substantial that it had to be addressed by Bill C-25 “An Act to Make Amendments to the National Defence Act”.
Section 138 of the 1970 Act, and Section 160 of the 1985 Act defines “commanding officer” as being the commanding officer of the accused. In the case of Captain Father Angus McRae, the Canadian Forces have confirmed that CFB Namao base commander Colonel Dan Munro was Captain McRae’s commanding officer.
Section 139 of the 1970 Act, and Section 161 of the 1985 Act both stipulate that after a person subject to the Code of Service Discipline has been charged with a Service Offence, the commanding officer of the accused will conduct a summary investigation.
Section 140 of the 1970 Act, and Section 162 of the 1985 Act both stipulate that the commanding officer of the accused has the power to dismiss charges brought against their subordinate. Or the commanding officer could cause the charges to proceed against their subordinate.
The Canadian Forces didn’t have an independent “prosecutor” until after the passing of Bill C-25 in 1998. The commanding officer had the primary discretion to either proceed with charges or to dismiss the charges. Once the commanding officer made this decision, they would pass this up the chain of command to the “prosecutor”.
The Commission of Inquiry into the Deployment of Canadian Forces to Somalia had some very serious reservations of the Commanding Officer acting as a prosecutorial agent. The Commission found that commanding officers could operate as investigators, prosecutors, and judiciary. The Commission pointed out that in the Civilian justice system, those three roles were conducted by three completely separate entities. Civilian police have no sway over the prosecutors and prosecutors have no sway over the judiciary. Commanding officers on the other hand could be subjected to “command influence”. Military police officers had to obey the commands of superior officers.
What did Legislative Summary LS-311E have to say about Section 160 to 162 of the 1985 National Defence Act?
The decision to prosecute or not to prosecute was in the hands of commanding officers prior to November of 1997. As the Somalia Inquiry discovered, these commanding officers had no legal training, no legal background, swore no peace officer’s oath. Their decisions could easily be influenced by the chain of command as well as the commanding officer’s own parochial interests.
What charges could a commanding officer dismiss prior to November of 1997? Gross Indecency; Indecent Assault; Buggery; Sexual Interference; Invitation to Sexual Touching; and Sexual Exploitation. These were crimes that the Canadian Forces were not precluded from conducting a service tribunal for.
“regardless of whether or not the commanding officer would have the authority to try the accused on the charge”
What I am not certain of, but seems to be indicated nonetheless by the language in the italics on page 18 of Legislative Summary LS-311e, is could commanding officers dismiss charges related to Murder, Manslaughter, and Rape? Commanding officers definitely would not have had the authority to try the accused on the charges of Murder, Manslaughter, and Rape.
What is the fallout of a commanding officer dismissing charges prior to November of 1997?
As LS-311E states “the effect of a decision of a commanding officer to dismiss a charge is that no other authority – military or civil- can thereafter proceed against the accused on the charge or any substantially similar offence arising out of the same facts”.
This means that anyone, who as a child was sexually abused on a military base, and whose abuser had their charges dismissed or reduced by their abuser’s commanding officer, could never bring charges against their abuser today.
According to the babysitter’s father, with whom I spoke to in July of 2015, the military police on CFB Namao in 1980 knew of 25 other children being molested by Captain McRae.
According to former Canadian Forces Special Investigations Unit acting section commander Fred R. Cunningham, with whom I spoke in November of 2011, the military police in 1980 had numerous more charges ready to go to court martial against McRae, but that the “brass” reduced the number of charges brought against Captain McRae to only those involving the babysitter / altar boy.
Why did the Canadian Forces try to bury this matter in 1980?
It would have been quite embarrassing for the Canadian public to have found out that an officer with the Canadian Armed Forces had been committing “Acts of Homosexuality” with children as young as five years of age, on a military base none the less.
What were the implications of dropping the “excess” charges against Captain McRae and only charging him with enough offences to get him booted out of the military? If any child between May of 1980 and May of 1983 had tried to bring charges against Captain McRae, and those charges were similar to the charges that had been dropped, Captain McRae could not be charged.
What are the implications of the 3-year time bar? Anyone who had been sexually abused by Captain McRae would never have been able to bring charges against McRae after May of 1983.
It is apparent that the 3-year time bar flaw and the Summary Investigation flaw make it almost virtually impossible for anyone who was sexually abused as a child to bring charges against their abuser.
I wish I could say that these two flaws were the only issues that could stymie a person’s quest for justice.
However, as I will discuss in future blog postings, there are other issues at play that stand as road blocks to justice.