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Former senator Don Meredith charged with 3 counts of sexual assault

Click to play video: 'Historic Senate decision to remove Don Meredith'
Historic Senate decision to remove Don Meredith
The Senate will vote, for the first time in its history, on whether or not a senator who engaged in an inappropriate sexual relationship with a teenager should be booted from the Red Chamber. Chief Political Correspondent David Akin has the details on an extraordinary day in the Upper House – May 2, 2017

A former senator who resigned from the upper chamber amid a sexual misconduct scandal is now facing criminal charges.

Don Meredith, 58, has been charged with three counts of sexual assault and one count of criminal harassment, Ottawa police said Saturday.

A source confirmed to The Canadian Press that the man in question was the former Conservative senator.

Read more: Employees of ex-senator Don Meredith to be compensated $498K for harassment, abuse

The charges relate to incidents that allegedly took place in 2013 and 2014 and were reported by an adult woman, police said, offering no other details.

Meredith has been released on a promise to appear in court. Neither his lawyer nor the Senate immediately responded to request for comment on the charges.

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Meredith — an ordained minister — was appointed to the senate by former prime minister Stephen Harper in 2010, but resigned in 2017 after a scathing report from the Senate’s ethics officer.

Click to play video: 'Sex scandal surrounding Senator Don Meredith is not about race, it’s about abuse of power: Sears'
Sex scandal surrounding Senator Don Meredith is not about race, it’s about abuse of power: Sears

The report from Lyse Ricard, who held the position at the time, concluded Meredith had violated the chamber’s code of ethics by engaging in a relationship with a girl when she was just 16 and recommended the upper house take the unprecedented step of expelling him.

Meredith resigned from the Senate weeks later just as the upper chamber was believed ready to expel him over the relationship. He also acknowledged the sexual relations outlined in the report but said nothing took place until she turned 18.

A second Senate investigation, released in 2019, found Meredith had repeatedly bullied, threatened and intimidated his staff, as well as touched, kissed and propositioned some of them.

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Saturday’s announcement marks the first time Meredith has faced criminal charges related to sexual misconduct.

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