Crew secure the mizzen sail during a 2018 deployment onboard Royal Canadian Navy sail training vessel HMCS Oriole. A past crew member was convicted in Victoria May 27 on three separate charges relating to assaults against a cadet during a 2006 West Coast cruise to Alaska. The vessel is now based in Halifax. (Courtesy Department of National Defence)

Crew secure the mizzen sail during a 2018 deployment onboard Royal Canadian Navy sail training vessel HMCS Oriole. A past crew member was convicted in Victoria May 27 on three separate charges relating to assaults against a cadet during a 2006 West Coast cruise to Alaska. The vessel is now based in Halifax. (Courtesy Department of National Defence)

Retired HMCS Oriole crew member convicted in Victoria of sexual assault, other charges

Retired Royal Canadian Navy NCO James R. Levesque begins sentencing hearing July 9

A now-retired naval officer is awaiting sentencing after being convicted in a Victoria court martial of sexual assault, assault and uttering threats dating back to 2006, on board the Royal Canadian Navy sail training ship HMCS Oriole.

The finding against former petty officer first class James R. Levesque was handed down by Judge S.M. Sukstorf on May 27 during a court martial held at Bay Street Armoury.

The offences against a female cadet, whose identity is protected under a court-ordered publication ban, were alleged to have happened during HMCS Oriole’s cruise to and from Alaska in B.C. coastal waters between June 1 and July 31, 2006. The Oriole was based on the West Coast at the time, but is now in Halifax.

Levesque, who was serving as a boatswain on the vessel during the period in question, had denied the allegations and pleaded not guilty to all of the charges. The proceedings ran from March 14 to 21 and May 17 to 27.

The sentencing hearing is scheduled to begin July 9 at HMCS Naden at Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt.

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