On Thursday August 29, 2019, the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service (CFNIS) charged Chief Warrant Officer Duncan Colin Stewart, a Reserve Force member working at 1 Canadian Air Division Headquarter in Winnipeg, with one charge of sexual assault.
Further to ongoing investigative actions by the CFNIS, Chief Warrant Officer Stewart is no longer considered a suspect, or person of interest, in relation to this offence. As such, the charge against CWO Stewart has been withdrawn by military authorities and proceedings against the member were terminated.
“The Canadian Forces National Investigation Service seeks to investigate and where appropriate lay charges based on factual evidence regardless of when the offence is alleged to have been committed. Much care is taken to investigate all matters of this nature, historical or otherwise.
CFNIS investigators continue to pursue all investigatory leads even after a charge is laid. When new information is discovered which impacts on the basis for which the charge was laid, such information will form part of the continual assessment as to whether any given charge will be sustained.”
Lieutenant-Colonel Kevin Cadman, Commanding Officer, Canadian Forces National Investigation Service
The CFNIS is a specialized unit established within Canadian Forces Military Police Group (CFMP 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 CFMP Gp and the CFNIS conduct police investigations independently, without interference and in accordance with the highest professional standards.
When new information relevant to a charge is brought to the attention of investigators, the CFNIS will review such information in order to determine if the basis for the decision to charge is impacted. If new information comes to light which exonerates an accused, CFNIS will take the necessary actions to ensure that such information is communicated to military or civilian authorities as part of the ongoing assessment as to the sustainability of a charge in judicial proceedings.