RCMP charge educator from Yarmouth with historical sexual assault

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RCMP in Yarmouth have charged a man with a historical sexual assault. (Jeorge Sadi/CBC - image credit)
RCMP in Yarmouth have charged a man with a historical sexual assault. (Jeorge Sadi/CBC - image credit)

RCMP in Yarmouth, N.S., have charged an educator from Yarmouth with a sexual assault that dates back 20 years.

Police say last month they received a report of a sexual assault that occurred between the fall of 2001 and the summer of 2002, when the accuser would have been 14.

Mark Alexander Thornton, 51, of Yarmouth was arrested on July 26.

He was charged with sexual exploitation and sexual assault. He was released on conditions and is expected in Yarmouth provincial court on Oct. 11.

Thornton is an employee of the Tri-County Regional Centre for Education and has been placed on administrative leave.

Jared Purdy, the regional executive director for Tri-County, said RCMP informed the centre of the charges.

"We are fully co-operating with the RCMP investigation but are unable to comment further on matters before the courts. Our priority continues to be the safety and well-being of students," Purdy said.

"The school and the region will be communicating with families and staff in the coming days and we are focused on supporting students and staff at this time."

Yarmouth Town RCMP think there could be other victims who have yet to come forward.

"Police want victims to know that they can contact them and discuss an incident before making a decision to further participate in the investigation and court process," police said in a news release.

Yarmouth Town RCMP can be contacted at 902-742-8777.

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