those poor teenagers...

Officer lands cadets in red light district

Alleged that he paid for services of prostitutes

Melissa Leong, National Post

Published: Thursday, September 27, 2007
A Navy Lieutenant, who has been honoured for his work with youth, is accused of paying for sea cadets to receive the services of prostitutes during a trip to Amsterdam.
Lieutenant Ralph Edwards, a cadet instructor and a veteran RCMP officer in Burlington was assigned to escort a group of Canadian Sea Cadets to the Netherlands in July, 2006.
He is alleged to have "influenced" five cadets, aged 15 to 16 years of age, to visit prostitutes, the Department of National Defence said in a press release. Two of the cadets were Canadian, two were British and one was American.

Lieut. Edwards has been charged with scandalous and disgraceful conduct under the National Defence Act. He could not be reached for comment.
Captain John Harris with the Regional Cadet Support Unit, said five cadets from across Canada trained for two weeks aboard Netherland's vessels which moored in Amsterdam -- where prostitution is legal--for a day or two.
"The Amsterdam day was on the tail end of the visit. They had finished their cruises," he said.
The following month, an investigation was launched after one of the Canadian cadets complained.
Lieut. Edwards has been reassigned to administrative duties, said Captain Cindy Tessier.
"Generally speaking, when there are serious allegations against an individual, while [the case] is undergoing an investigation, we will take precautionary measures such as removing the person from the immediate work space."
He is also subject to an on-going code of conduct investigation within the RCMP, stemming from the same incident. Lieut. Edwards, who worked as a constable in the Hamilton/Niagara Detachment, recruiting for Ontario and Quebec, has also been assigned to police administrative duties. He joined the RCMP in 1974.
Four months ago, he got the Order of Merit of the Police Forces, which recognizes Canadian police officers whose "contributions extend beyond protection of the community." Michaelle Jean, the Governor-General of Canada, presided over the ceremony at Rideau Hall.
In 2005, Lieut. Edwards was presented with the Canadian Forces Naval Sword with the gold braid for 25 years of community service working with youth.
The married father of two has been a cub scout leader since 1970 and a foster parent with Halton Children's Aid Society for about 30 years.
Lieut. Edwards became a sea cadet in 1957 and joined the Royal Canadian Navy in 1967 and served on board HMCS Fraser.
He could end up before a military court-martial to answer to the National Defence Act charges, Capt. Tessier said. Punishment includes a reduction in rank, a forfeiture of pay or a discharge.