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SIU investigating sexual assault allegation against Sault Police

Police watchdog for Ontario notified of allegation in February
File photo.

Ontario’s police watchdog is keeping itself busy in Sault Ste. Marie these days. 

Days after the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) launched an investigation into the shooting death of a 37-year-old man by a Sault Police officer, SooToday has learned that the independent agency is also investigating a sexual assault allegation against the same police service from earlier this year.  

The SIU was first notified of the sexual assault allegation Feb. 23. A spokesperson for the agency told SooToday Thursday that it does not release details to the public that could potentially identify the individual alleging a sexual assault or the officer who is the subject of the allegation. 

"This is due to the release of information related to investigations of sexual assault allegations being associated with a risk of further deterring what is already an under-reported crime and undermining the heightened privacy interests of the involved parties, most emphatically, the affected persons," the spokesperson said. "The SIU hopes that by not releasing identifying information in these cases, potential affected persons will be encouraged to come forward."

By law, police services cannot comment on an active SIU investigation.

Late last year, Sgt. Marc Dubie of the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service was charged with two counts of sexual assault after an investigation by the SIU concluded there was sufficient evidence to proceed with the charges, which were laid against the officer in relation to incidents involving two women in December 2022. The charges have yet to be tested in court and Dubie is considered innocent unless proven guilty.  

As reported by SooToday last week, Dubie — who is currently suspended — will face an out-of-town justice and Crown Attorney if the criminal charges proceed to trial. 

The police watchdog is also investigating a custody injury involving Sault Police after being notified of the incident March 2. A recent SIU report on another custody injury concluded that an elderly Sault man's finger did not get broken as the result of unlawful police conduct.  

The SIU is an independent government agency that investigates the conduct of police that may have resulted in death, serious injury, sexual assault and/or the discharge of a firearm at a person.

James Hopkin

About the Author: James Hopkin

James Hopkin is a reporter for SooToday in Sault Ste. Marie
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