Po­lice chief charged with sex­u­ally as­sault­ing teenager

Cape Breton Post - - Cape Breton / Province -

BRIDGE­WA­TER — The po­lice chief in Bridge­wa­ter has been charged with sex­u­ally as­sault­ing a teenaged girl.

The prov­ince’s Se­ri­ous In­ci­dent Re­sponse Team said Thurs­day it learned of al­le­ga­tions against 53-year-old John Col­lyer from the RCMP in Au­gust, but it re­quired some time to col­lect all of the ev­i­dence.

“It in­volved in­ter­views with many peo­ple but we were also seek­ing ... cer­tain doc­u­men­tary ev­i­dence that was in the hands of a third party and the na­ture of where and how it was held led to de­lays that were beyond our con­trol,’’ said Ron MacDon­ald, the di­rec­tor of the po­lice watch­dog agency. MacDon­ald said the girl was 17 at the time of the al­leged of­fence in the Bridge­wa­ter area on Nova Sco­tia’s south shore, but he de­clined to pro­vide her cur­rent age.

The agency is­sued a state­ment say­ing it has laid one charge of sex­ual as­sault and two charges of sex­ual ex­ploita­tion against Col­lyer, and said the of­fences are al­leged to have oc­curred be­tween April 1 and July 31 last year. MacDon­ald said it is the first time in his five-year ten­ure with the in­de­pen­dent agency that charges of sex­ual as­sault have been laid against a po­lice chief in the prov­ince, al­though there have been a num­ber of in­ves­ti­ga­tions of po­lice of­fi­cers.

Col­lyer was placed on ad­min­is­tra­tive leave by Bridge­wa­ter’s po­lice com­mis­sion in Au­gust after it be­came pub­lic that SiRT was in­ves­ti­gat­ing the al­leged sex­ual as­sault. He had been po­lice chief for five years at the time of the orig­i­nal al­le­ga­tions and prior to that was a long-serv­ing of­fi­cer with 26 years on the po­lice force.

Col­lyer is sched­uled to ap­pear in pro­vin­cial court in Bridge­wa­ter on June 14.

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