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An RCMP officer and his wife are facing multiple abuse and sex-related charges following a child abuse investigation in Ottawa that police say involves more than one victim.

Police say the 41-year-old officer and 34-year-old wife are charged with several counts of aggravated assault, assault with weapon, aggravated sexual assault, forcible confinement and failing to provide the necessaries of life.

In order to protect the identity of the victims, names of the couple have not been released, police say. Nor will they say how many children were involved.

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"There is more than one but we're not (saying) how many," said Ottawa police acting Staff Sergeant Francois D'Aoust.

A police official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the person isn't authorized to speak publicly, said the investigation was launched after an 11-year-old child was discovered wandering in a residential neighbourhood.

It's believed handcuffs were used to keep the child for months in the basement of a house, the source said.

The RCMP officer was arrested Tuesday after an investigation at his residence.

The Mounties said he has not been on active duty since May, 2011, although they would not give a reason.

He was suspended with pay on Wednesday after being arrested and is now facing an internal investigation, said RCMP Corporal Lucy Shorey.

Both of the accused appeared in court Thursday. The officer's wife was expected to go before a judge Friday to set a date for a bail hearing.

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