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CFB Shilo soldier charged with sexual assault, assault, inappropriate conduct

SHILO, Man. - A soldier based in Manitoba is facing charges of assault and sexual assault.

Master Warrant Officer Douglas Pettie, a vehicle technician at Canadian Forces Base Shilo near Brandon, has been charged with one count of sexual assault and two counts of assault causing bodily harm.

Major Yves Desbiens with the Canadian Forces said the alleged incidents occurred between February 2011 and May 2013 in Moncton, N.B. An investigation into the allegations began last May and resulted in charges being laid Wednesday.

Pettie, 49, also faces four counts of conduct to the prejudice of good order and discipline under the National Defence Act.

"Investigations may be very fast or very long," said Desbiens, a senior public affairs officer with the military.

"Investigations take the amount of time we require."

Pettie has been with the Canadian Forces for 26 years, Desbiens said. He has served in Syria, Kosovo and Afghanistan.

It is now up to a military prosecutor to decide whether the charges will go to a court martial, Desbiens said. An administrative review will also be conducted to determine whether Pettie can continue working while facing the charges.

Whenever allegations of this nature surface, Desbiens said, military officials take them very seriously.

"We do hold our members to a very high standard of conduct and performance, whether it is in Canada or abroad, on or off duty."

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