Vancouver: A high-profile RCMP officer once in charge of the Mounties’ communications strategy at E Division in Vancouver has been charged with sexual assault.

The Criminal Justice Branch says a charge has been sworn against Insp. Tim Shields as a result of an investigation into sexual misconduct, which is alleged to have occurred between 2009 and 2010.

The justice branch says in a news release that the complainant was a civilian employee who worked in co-ordination with the communication unit headed by Shields.

He appeared in Vancouver provincial court today and will be back in court on June 27.

Shields was suspended with pay a year ago.

Mounties said at the time that his suspension was due to a code-of-conduct investigation.