David Langlois-Fequet, a Canadian soldier serving in Afghanistan, outside the Byron Bay Courthouse where he appeared last week charged with the sexualassault of a German backpacker in Byron Bay.
David Langlois-Fequet, a Canadian soldier serving in Afghanistan, outside the Byron Bay Courthouse where he appeared last week charged with the sexualassault of a German backpacker in Byron Bay. Ross Irby

Canadian military aid local police

THE Canadian armed forces will ensure one of its soldiers serving in Afghanistan will return to the North Coast to face a sexual assault charge.

David Langlois-Fequet, an Edmonton-based soldier attached to the 1st Combat Engineers Regiment, has now left Australia and is expected to immediately return to his unit in Afghanistan.

Canadian media reports have quoted Lieutenant-Colonel Christian Lemay as saying it was a civilian matter because the soldier had been on leave at the time of the alleged offence in Byron Bay, not on a military trip.

Lt-Col Lemay said Langlois-Fequet first arrived in Afghanistan in October for a six-month tour.

“We are aware of an incident where a Canadian forces member on leave in Australia is being investigated by the Australian civilian police,” he said.

“Langlois-Fequet has been granted bail and is returning to active duty. We have been made aware that he is now on his way back to Afghanistan to his place of duty.”

Lt-Col Lemay said it was too early to determine whether the soldier’s tour would be cut short.

“Somebody within the Canadian armed forces will follow up with the justice system over in Australia to make sure that if there is any assistance that is required – getting access to the individual – we will make sure we will facilitate it,” he said.

“He will certainly be authorised to travel back to Australia when he needs to be there, if he needs to be there.”

In Byron Bay Local Court last week the soldier appeared charged with having sexual intercourse without consent with a youngGerman backpacker in a shared dorm room at theHoliday Village on December 8.

The case was adjourned to February 16.



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