The Crown has withdrawn all charges related to Lieut.-Col. Mason Stalker, the Revelstoke-born soldier and Afghan veteran who became commander of 1st Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, before he was charged with 10 sex-related offences.
The 40-year-old Stalker was born and raised in Revelstoke and served in Afghanistan before being promoted to his current rank and becoming Commanding Officer of the 1st Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry in Edmonton last year.
In July 2015, Stalker was charged in Edmonton by the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service (CFNIS) with 10 sex-related offences including an offence related to Breach of Trust by a Public Officer, all pursuant to the Criminal Code of Canada.
Then on Friday, November 4, an Alberta Provincial Court judge in Edmonton approved a motion from the Crown Prosecutor’s office to withdraw all charges related to Stalker.
Of the ten initial charges laid in 2015, three charges were dropped during a preliminary hearing this past. To prove his innocence without a shadow of doubt, Stalker selected a court trial where the remaining charges were withdrawn today.
Stalker, who had enjoyed a distinguished career with the PPCLI until the charges were laid
“I have always maintained my innocence in this matter and am reassured that due process has resulted in the withdrawal of all charges,” Lieut. Col. Stalker said in a statement issued the Bottos Law Group in Edmonton. “I am very grateful for my partner, family, friends and colleagues, who have always known I’m innocent and stood by me through this nightmare.
“Nothing has made me more proud than to serve the soldiers of the Canadian Forces: a privilege I take seriously. Although I may not be a commander anymore, I’m still a leader and I have always, and will always, believe in treating others with dignity and respect. I remain passionate that people should speak out when they need help.
“Although I have a long path ahead to recover from the difficult strain this placed on me, my family, friends, colleagues and career, after more than 23 years of soldiering, I look forward to getting back to serving my country.”
The crown’s decision to withdraw the charges is good news for Revelstoke. Mason Stalker has many friends in the community and he set an excellent and honourable example for young people who were considering military service.
“I am very pleased with the news released today in regards to Lieut-Col. Mason Stalker,” Capt. Miken Rienks of the Army Cadets program said. “He is a personal friend and a hero to the cadets in our local cadet corps. As always Lieut.-Col. Stalker has our utmost respect and support and I look forward to working with him in the future.”
You can read more about Lieut.-Col. Mason Stalker here:
Click here to read The Current’s original story about the charges: https://legacy.revelstokecurrent.com//2015/07/28/lieut-col-mason-stalker-charged-with-10-sex-related-offences/