Royal Canadian Air Cadet member charged in sex assault of teen girl in 2019

Constable David Herle is ‘gravely concerned’ about ‘significant issue’ identified by investigation into Vancouver 2016 case

Royal Canadian Air Cadet member charged in sex assault of teen girl in 2019

A male cadet officer with the Royal Canadian Air Cadet program has been charged with sexually assaulting a teenage girl in a Seattle hotel room over a two-week period in April and May of 2018.

Constable David Herle of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Vancouver Detachment announced the charge on Thursday evening, telling reporters that a “significant issue” has been identified during the ongoing investigation.

The 15-year-old girl was allegedly assaulted by 17-year-old Constable David Herle while she was staying at the hotel. Herle was not charged at the time because the girl was under 17 years old.

“The matter was referred to us by Seattle police and I’m formally releasing that information,” said Herle.

The woman was reportedly 15 years old when the alleged offences occurred.

Herle said the investigation, which is ongoing, is looking at other victims and potential assaults.

“Given what I was told, this is a very serious issue,” he said. “This is a horrific incident for all involved and this is being investigated very seriously and the fact it involved a cadet is very concerning to me, to the RCMP and to the whole investigation that’s underway at this time.”

The incident happened during an overseas tour for the cadets, which took place during Spring break in April and May last year.

Cadets are trained to provide support to under-age girls who are vulnerable to bullying and abuse, according to the Royal Canadian Air Cadet program website. All cadets are required to attend a 15-week “teaching and experience” program prior to graduation.

Herle told reporters the female victim in this case was not a cadet when she was assaulted. He said the incident may have occurred because she was underage. He said she was separated from the rest of the cadets in the room by the defendant.

The victim has not been identified. Herle told reporters that she was now a witness in the investigation.

A statement released by the Royal Canadian Air Cadet said that although the Crown had approved charges against the member, the program still values the privacy of all cadets and will not release the member’s name.

“Due to the ongoing RCMP investigation into this matter, we will be unable to provide additional details,” read the statement.

“We appreciate the public’s patience while the matter is being resolved. There is no further information available for this investigation at this time.”

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