Ottawa Police Officer Charged With Sexual Assault

These are scary times, when the people whose job it is to enforce the law, become the ones who break it. Such is the case of a 32-year-old Ottawa policeman who was recently reported for sexual assault.

According to the article on CBC News, the Ottawa police Const. Sharmarke Ali has been charged with sexual assault and forcible confinement after an alleged incident was reported last month by an 18-year-old woman. This incident led to the arrest of the police constable by the Ottawa police sexual assault and child abuse unit. The officer was said to be off duty at the time of the incident and has beenplaced on suspension.

He was, however, later released from custody without conditions and is due to appear in court on the 6th of June.

The event took place on Rideau Street where the young woman told police she had been approached by a stranger on April the 13th, at about 3 a.m.

The police have not released any further information about the incident but have launched an internal investigation through its professional standards unit. CBC news further says that the police alsocontacted Ontario's Special Investigations Unit, which has a mandate to investigate allegations of sexual assault involving police officers, but the SIU decided to leave the case to Ottawa police.

Even though the details of this incident remain unknown, there are three levels of sexual assault in Canada as listed on CanadianWomen.Org -

  • Level one sexual assaults cause little or no physical injury
  • Level two sexual assaults involve a weapon, threat, or bodily harm
  • Level three sexual assaults involve physical wounds, disfigurement, or threaten the life of

               the survivor.

Sexual assaults on young females in Canada seem to be on the increase. Statistics Canada states that the female victimization rates for levels 1 and 2 sexual assault are each about 6 times higher than the rates for males. In comparison, aggravated sexual assault (level 3) rates are 4 times greater for women versus men, and for other sexual offenses, the rate for females is about 3 times higher than the rate for males.

Youth and students are likely to have higher rates of sexual assault because of lifestyle factors. This is due to the fact that young people tend to engage more frequently in recreational activities, and are in close proximity to many different individuals at any given time.

Statcan also states that higher rates of sexual assault were also reported to victimization surveys by students and those who frequently engaged in evening activities, such as going out to restaurants, bars or the movies or visiting friends. According to them, the 2004 GSS found that students had significantly higher rates of sexual assault in comparison to those whose main activity consisted of working and that those who participated in 30 or more evening activities per month had rates of sexual victimization that were 4.5 times higher than those who engaged in less than 10 evening activities in a month.


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