02/15/2013 07:08 EST | Updated 04/17/2013 05:12 EDT

Ottawa Mountie, woman back in court on child abuse charges

An RCMP officer and an Ottawa woman each made a second appearance in court Friday, a day after they were charged with several serious offences related to a child abuse investigation that police are calling one of the worst cases of abuse they've seen.

Ottawa police arrested the 41-year-old officer and a 34-year-old woman on Tuesday after an investigation at the officer's home.

Police sources told CBC what police found was "the worst case of abuse police have seen."

The man and woman face three counts each of aggravated assault, two counts of assault with a weapon, one count of forcible confinement and one count of failing to provide the necessaries of life.

The man also faces one count of sexual assault and an additional count of assault with a weapon.

The accused officer stood silently in court on Friday, staring at the floor and clutching a white piece of paper.

He was remanded into custody after his appearance and he will appear again by video link on Tuesday.

Names under publication ban

The woman, wearing a grey sweatshirt and a white scrunchie in her hair, appeared in a separate courtroom Friday afternoon by a video link.

She was remanded into custody as well, and she will also appear in court via video link on Tuesday.

The names of the accused have not been released to protect the identity of the victims, police said. There is also a court-ordered publication ban on the names of the accused and victims.

Neighbour shocked about charges

Ottawa police Supt. Tyrus Cameron said police are concerned anything revealing the identity of the victims would "re-victimize" them.

"They are victims of horrific abuse," said Cameron.

One neighbour told CBC News, on a condition of anonymity, these charges have shocked the area, and some families worry about their own safety.

"We don't know what goes on behind every wall," the neighbour said. "Previously we thought it was a safe neighbourhood, but now maybe we have to be more careful."

Officer on leave

The RCMP said the officer has been on leave since May 2011, but the reason for that is under a court-ordered publication ban.

Police sources also told CBC News the man worked for the force's counter-terrorism unit.

The officer was suspended with pay Wednesday, RCMP said.

The RCMP is also performing its own internal investigation to determine if the officer had complied with the code of ethics.

Ottawa police said anyone with information is asked to contact them at 613-236-1222, ext. 5944, or Crime Stoppers at 613-233-8477.