A Canadian Forces Base Shilo soldier has been sentenced to 12 days in military jail for disgraceful conduct — he was masturbating while watching two women in a changing room at the base recreation centre, one of the victims says.
The victims only spotted the man after they’d changed their clothes, and it’s possible he saw them naked — one of the women says that left her feeling helpless and violated.
"It’s super violating … you’re just there for somebody else to look at, to do what they want to do," said the woman, who asked to remain anonymous.
Canadian Forces Base Shilo public affairs officer Lori Truscott confirmed that Bradley Bennett, a gunner with 1RCHA, was found guilty of disgraceful conduct under the National Defence Act. The 24-year-old was sentenced at the conclusion of a "summary trial" before his commanding officer at Canadian Forces Base Shilo on Monday.
Bennett will serve his time at the Edmonton Detention Barracks, a military jail, but remains a member of the military. He joined the Armed Forces relatively recently, Truscott said, and CFB Shilo is his first posting.
Monday’s hearing was closed to the public, said Truscott, who added she couldn’t go into specifics about the May 2 incident at the base that led to the charge.
One of the victims, however, described her ordeal for the Brandon Sun. She said that she and a friend had just finished changing into workout clothes in a women’s changing room at General Strange Hall, the base recreation centre. The women had fully undressed before putting on their workout clothes, and the victim said she was just reaching for her shoes when she saw a shocking image in a mirror — a man in sweatpants masturbating as he stood in the shower area.
She and the intruder made eye contact and the man then ran away.
Centre staff were notified and blocked the exits until military police arrived. MPs found the man hiding in one of the men’s washrooms.
The victim then identified the man as the one responsible.
Bennett denied that he was masturbating, however.
The victim said that Bennett claimed he was text-messaging his girlfriend and was distracted as he wandered into the changing room.
But the victim believes Bennett knew exactly where he was going. He would have entered the shower and changing room area through a door connected to the pool area.
The victim believes he entered the changing room when he heard women’s voices. He was standing around the corner of the room and was likely watching the women in the mirror.
Bennett’s arrest came amid a series of reported "lewd" acts committed by men at Shilo and in Brandon.
There’s no indication that this incident is linked to the others.
Another soldier was charged in relation to an incident in Brandon, and that matter remains before the courts.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition August 22, 2012