04/20/2015 12:00 EDT | Updated 06/20/2015 01:12 EDT

Four members of Royal Navy due in Nova Scotia court facing sex charges

HALIFAX - Four members of the British navy are set to appear in a Nova Scotia court today on charges of sexual assault following an alleged incident at a Canadian Forces base in Halifax.The Crown says the men are alleged to have participated in a "group sexual assault'' in a barracks at CFB Shearwater on April 10.The men are British citizens and were in Nova Scotia for a hockey tournament with local military personnel when they were arrested last Thursday.Prosecutor Scott Morrison said last week that the Crown was trying to determine if the men can be released from custody and whether that would include allowing them to return to the United Kingdom during the legal process.Michael O'Sullivan of the British High Commission said he was meeting with the sailors at Dartmouth provincial court today, although he would not elaborate.The commanding officer of the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service, which investigates serious matters relating to the Defence Department, said the allegations of sexual assault against the sailors is disturbing.In a statement, Lt.-Col. Francis Bolduc said British authorities have co-operated with the investigation.