13 January 2010
By TRACY MCLAUGHLIN, SPECIAL TO THE EXAMINER
Sex charges against a former top military chaplain who worked out of CFB Borden have been dropped by the Crown in Barrie court.
Roger Bazin, a retired Roman Catholic chaplain-general, was arrested in Barrie on Feb. 15, 2010 and charged with buggery, gross indecency and indecent assault on an underaged male.
He was arrested by military police following an investigation by the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service.
The allegations were made against Bazin by a male who claimed the assaults were made by Bazin in 1972, while on base at CFB Borden, west of Barrie.
Any other details surrounding the alleged incident and details of the alleged victim remain undisclosed.
“I’m asking that the charges be withdrawn,” said Crown attorney Michael Minns before Justice of the Peace Ann Forfar. Minns told the court earlier this month the decision to withdraw the charges came after careful consideration.
“Following the laying of these charges by the military police, what ensued was a direct, a detailed and thorough review of the available evidence in this case by members of the Crown Attorney’s office,” said Minns. “The conclusion ultimately reached was that there did not exist a reasonable prospect of conviction.”
In the past year, Bazin, 73, of Manitoba, had several court appearances in Barrie court, where he did not show, but was represented by an agent from his lawyer’s office. Each time, the case was put over to a new date.
The last date in court was slated for a brief pretrial, but instead, the matter was resolved and the charges were dropped, although Bazin’s lawyer was not in court.
“I can’t add anything else,” said Commander Hubert Genest, Canadian Armed Forces spokesperson in Ottawa, in a phone interview Wednesday. “These allegations came from some 20 years ago and we don’t know the details. Mr. Bazin has been out of the military for quite a while — we have no contact with him.”
Bazin was ordained in 1962 and later became a chaplain with the Canadian Armed Forces. He eventually rose to the position of chaplain-general and later, brigadier-general. At the time of the alleged incidents, Bazin held the rank of captain. He later served as head of the military chaplaincy from 1992 to 1995 when he retired.
It’s not the first time allegations of inappropriate sexual behaviour have been made against Bazin.
In 2005, a family from Thunder Bay made allegations that Bazin engaged in inappropriate behaviour with a 16-year-old boy, but no charges came of the allegations.