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Court martial trial against former Charlottetown cadet commander begins Monday

Capt. Todd Bannister. ©THE GUARDIAN/Submitted Photo
Capt. Todd Bannister. ©THE GUARDIAN/Submitted Photo - The Guardian

The trial begins Monday for a former Charlottetown cadet commander facing standing court martial for alleged repeated inappropriate behaviour.

Capt. Todd Bannister faces nine charges: two charges of behaving in a disgraceful manner; six charges of conduct to the prejudice of good order and discipline and one charge of neglect to the prejudice of good order and discipline. The charges stem from at least four incidents alleged to have taken place between March 20, 2013, and June 20, 2015.

“They all deal with inappropriate language – sexual innuendo, some of it is off-colour… (the language) is leading to sexual misconduct,’’ Rob Taylor, spokesman for the Office of the Judge Advocate General, which oversees the administration of military justice, told The Guardian in an interview in early November. “It is all what we would consider to be inappropriate language.’’

None of the charges have been proven.

RELATED: Former cadet claims officer facing court martial had relationship with her when she was 12

Bannister had been involved with the cadets since 2010 and was appointed as commander of the 148 Charlottetown Army Cadets in October 2012.

In April 2016, following preliminary review of allegations, Bannister was placed on suspension, relieved of his duties as commanding officer and ordered not to attend cadet activities.

Following publication of the case, a former cadet told her story to The Guardian alleging Bannister, while he was a young officer, had sex with her when she was only 12.

However, the woman has not to date pursued criminal sexual charges against Bannister.

The trial on the nine charges Bannister currently faces is open to the public, but government-issued identification, such as a driver’s licence, is required to be admitted.

The trial begins Monday at 9:30 a.m. at the HMCS Queen Charlotte naval reserve at 210 Water St. in Charlottetown.

Military Judge Lt.-Col. LouisVincent d’Auteuil will preside over the trial.

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