The Canadian Forces National Investigation Service says Vice-Admiral Haydn Edmundson has also been charged with one count of indecent acts.
The charges come weeks after Defence Minister Anita Anand announced she had accepted retired Supreme Court justice Louise Arbour’s call to have the investigation and prosecution of military sexual assault cases transferred to civilian authorities.
In announcing the charges against Edmundson, the CFNIS noted Arbour left open the door to leaving investigations in the hands of military police if they are near completion.
Edmundson’s case will proceed through the civilian justice system rather than the military’s justice system.
Edmundson stepped down as head of military personnel command in March due to a police investigation after a CBC report of alleged sexual assault. He has denied the allegations.
His successor, Lt.-Gen. Steven Whelan, stepped aside in October due to a military police investigation into an allegation of sexual misconduct. He has also denied any wrongdoing.