OTTAWA – A senior aide to Senator Art Eggleton has been charged in connection with what police described as a violent sexual assault.
Robert Meinzer, 38, is facing nine criminal charges, including forcible confinement, sexual assault, choking, sodomy and extortion. He also is charged with break and enter with intent, sexual assault, assault and two counts of assault with a weapon.
Toronto police Const. Tony Vella said the charges stemmed from an incident involving an adult female that occurred in Toronto in August.
According to Const. Vella, Mr. Meinzer was arrested at 7:15 a.m. Monday in Toronto.
Following a show cause hearing, he since has been released from custody on bail conditions, Const. Vella said.
He is expected back in Toronto court on Sept. 14. Const. Vella said Mr. Meinzer has been allowed to return to Ottawa.
On Tuesday, Ottawa police detectives descended on Mr. Meinzer’s home in the city’s south end, to execute a search warrant.
Police would not say what they were looking for, although witnesses said there were several officers carrying cameras and wearing gloves coming in and out of the house.
A young woman wearing a black pant suit who said she lived in the two-storey brick side-by-side started to cry after returning to find police inside.
Officers ushered the woman into the house before putting her in a minivan and driving away.
Const. Vella would not provide any further details about the alleged incident.
UPDATE: You may remember Art Eggleton had some trouble with his staff in 2001 when he was Defence Minister to Jean Chretien’s Liberal government. CTV reminds us what the deal was:
In the summer of 2001, Eggleton issued a $36,000 research contract to a former girlfriend, Maggie Maier (pictured below), an act which ethics counsellor Howard Wilson found to be in “clear breach” of the cabinet conflict-of-interest code. He was later fired from Cabinet.
But Eggleton insists that the contract was above-board.
The contract came from Eggleton’s discretionary political account, used to hire political assistants and pay for advice and research. It was for research into illnesses and health problems plaguing soldiers home from overseas deployments.
But what about the rule that says family and friends can’t get preferential treatment?
“When ministers use their discretionary funds for political assistants or advice or research they obviously hire people they have trust in, they know,” he said. “They don’t hire their enemies.”
Maier produced a 14-page report. Eggleton said he asked her specifically to keep it short.
He said she had had problems with environmental stress factors herself and was qualified to do the research.