Stephen Harper’s bandmate charged with sexual assault

Phil Nolan (far right) is facing multiple charges of sexual assault and sexual interference. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris …

A drummer who often accompanies Prime Minister Stephen Harper during his musical performances is now facing several allegations of sexual assault.

According to a statement released by Ottawa police on Thursday afternoon, teacher Phillip Nolan, 43, has been charged with five counts of sexual assault, five counts of sexual interference and five counts of sexual exploitation, dating back to incidents that occurred between 1998 and 2000.

"The Ottawa Police is confirming that Mr. NOLAN was working as a teacher at a local Ottawa school with the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board, at the time of the incidents. There are concerns that there could be further victims."

According CFRA, the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board released a statement saying that they are cooperating with police and will be suspending Nolan now that charges had been laid.

"This is an extremely difficult situation and as a parent myself, I share the concerns that our community is feeling," Director Jennifer Adams said according to the Ottawa-based radio station.

"The District has resources available to support parents and students at the school level and on our district website."

Nolan is also member of the band Herringbone which last performed with the prime minister in December at an event in Toronto.

Jason MacDonald, the prime minister's spokesperson, released this statement in response to the charges.

"We are obviously shocked and disturbed by these serious charges," he said.

"No allegations of this nature have ever been brought to our attention. Anyone found guilty to these charges should face the full force of the law and given that the individual is now facing charges it would be inappropriate to comment further."

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