Two Quebec police officers have been charged with sexual assault following separate investigations by the province's independent police watchdog.

A spokeswoman for the Bureau des enquetes independantes confirmed today the two officers charged are Timothy Sangoya with the Kativik Regional Police Force and Roger Barnaby with the Listuguj Police Department.

Sangoya, 62, faces one count of sexual assault, allegedly committed in 2003. He appeared in court June 17. Barnaby, 32, also faces one count of sexual assault, allegedly committed in 2017. He has yet to appear before a judge.

The two men are the first police officers charged criminally following investigations by the independent watchdog. Created in 2016, it has initiated 77 criminal investigations of Quebec police officers since it began operating in June 2016. Of those, 35 remain open.

Peter Arsenault, director of public security with the Listuguj Police Department, said Barnaby was suspended with pay in December when the investigation began. Listuguj is a Mi'kmaq First Nations community located about 750 kilometres northeast of Montreal.

A spokesman for the Kativik Regional Police Force would not comment on the case. The Kativik region is located in Quebec's far north and is composed of 14 communities.