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Former Bridgewater police chief John Collyer has been found guilty of sexual exploitation involving a 17-year-old girl.
Collyer was found guilty on October 24 by Nova Scotia Supreme Court Justice Mona Lynch. She also convicted Collyer of sexual assault, issuing a conditional stay as there is a rule against multiple convictions for a single criminal act.
The 26-year old veteran had denied the accusation and pleaded not guilty. He was originally suspended in May 2017 after “the independent police watchdog charged him with one count of sexual assault and two counts of sexual exploitation,” reports CBC. Before that, he had been put on administrative leave in August 2016 after Nova Scotia’s Serious Incident Response Team began their investigation of the alleged assault.
The complainant testified that Collyer had asked her inappropriate questions in May 2016 while he drove before putting his hand between her legs and sexually assaulting her.
“I think it shows the courage and the bravery that the complainant and her family had to actually come forward and see this through,” Crown attorney Roland Levesque said.
“They’re in a very small community where they’re confronting one of the persons in that community who has a very high office and has a great, great deal of power.”
Collyer will be officially sentenced on March 4, 2020. He will remain free on various conditions until then.