TORONTO (AP) — Canada's military on Friday charged four British Navy sailors with sexual assault causing bodily harm at a Canadian Forces base in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
The men were charged Thursday for their role in a "group sexual assault" in barracks in Shearwater, Nova Scotia last week, according to the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service.
Prosecutor Scott Morrison said the British sailors were in Nova Scotia playing in a hockey tournament with Canadian Armed Forces. They were identified as Craig Stoner, 24; Darren Smalley, 35; Joshua Finbow, 23; and Simon Radford, 31.
Morrison said the victim was 21 years old but could not provide any further details.
The British Royal Navy said Friday that it takes allegations of this nature very seriously, but added that they are not able to comment further as legal proceedings are ongoing.
The sailors were being held at the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility in Halifax and were due to return to court Monday.
"Our position at this point is that they have to stay in Canada, he said. "They can't leave the country."
Morrison said the Canadian military has jurisdiction over the case, but added that the British military could take over at some point.
The Canadian Forces National Investigation Service's commanding officer said British authorities have co-operated with its investigation.
"This is a disturbing accusation of sexual assault," Lt.-Col. Francis Bolduc said in a statement.