07/28/2015 01:11 EDT | Updated 07/28/2016 05:59 EDT

Lt.-Col. Mason Stalker, based in Edmonton, faces sex charges

A high-ranking member of the Canadian Forces based in Edmonton faces a number of sex-related charges for offences alleged to have occurred between 1998 and 2007 while the member was a mentor with a local army cadet group. 

Lt. Col. Mason Stalker, 40, a commanding officer of the 1st Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry has been charged with:

- Three counts of sexual assault.

- Four counts of sexual exploitation.

- One count of sexual interference.

- One count of Invitation to sexual touching.

- One count of breach of trust by a public officer.

The charges were laid after an investigation by the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service (CFNIS.)

"These are serious and significant charges under the Criminal Code of Canada," said Lieutenant-Colonel Francis Bolduc, commanding officer of CFNIS.  

"Regardless of a member's rank and role in the Canadian Armed Forces, the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service works diligently and independently from the Canadian Armed Forces chain of command to protect individuals from those who violate the law."

In November 2012, Stalker received a Meritorious Service Cross from Canada's Gov. Gen. David Johnston for his leadership and tactical skills as the commanding officer in a volatile and violent region of Afghanistan.