Don Meredith: former senator accused of sexual assault

A former Canadian senator is facing sexual assault charges in connection with incidents that allegedly took place nearly a decade ago.

In a news release on Saturday, Ottawa police say Don Meredith, 58, of Toronto, is charged with three counts of sexual assault and one count of criminal harassment in connection with alleged incidents in 2013 and 2014, which police say were reported by an adult female.

An Ottawa police source told CTV News the man charged was the former senator.

Meredith was charged on Saturday and released on a promise to appear in court.

Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper appointed Meredith, a Pentecostal minister, to the Senate in 2010. Meredith was kicked out of the Conservative caucus in 2015 when allegations of inappropriate behavior surfaced. He later joined the Independent Senators Group as a member of his chamber’s coordinating team, but was removed from his leadership role within that group in 2017.

Meredith resigned in 2017 following an ethics committee report that found him unfit to serve on allegations that he developed an extramarital affair with a 16-year-old girl who eventually turned sexual – a once shortly before he turned 18 and twice after.

Meredith admitted to the affair, but insisted he didn’t have sex with the girl until after she turned 18. He resigned ahead of an expected attempt to expel him from the Red Room.

CTV News Ottawa has contacted the attorney representing Meredith as a senator, but has yet to hear back.

In a report released after her resignation, the Senate Ethics Counselor also found that Meredith created a toxic work environment by harassing, intimidating and threatening staff. In 2020, the Senate paid its former employees $498,000 in compensation.

Ottawa police say they are concerned there are other victims and are asking anyone with information to contact them at 613-236-1222 ext. 5944, or by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.