Volume 12 Week 5

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(Posted 7 p.m., Feb. 6)
Avalon Public School teacher faces sex charges dating back 15 years

By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

An Avalon Public School teacher faces multiple sex charges dating back to incidents that allegedly occurred between 1998 and 2000.

Phillip I. Nolan, 43, was charged Thursday with five counts of sexual assault, five counts of sexual interference and five counts of sexual exploitation involving two separate victims who were in Grade 7 and 8 at the time.

While it is not known where Nolan was teaching at the time the incidents took place, it definitely wasn't at Avalon which only opened in September 2008.

In a statement issued by the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board this afternoon, the board confirmed they Nolan has not taught in a classroom since they were notified of the investigation in November. He is to be suspended pending the resolution of his criminal charges, and the teacher's college have been notified of the charges and ongoing investigation.

An arts and music teacher, Nolan received the board's Arts Educator of the Year Award in 2005.

In a bizarre coincidence, Nolan also happens to be the drummer in a Celtic folk band that has played several times with Prime Minister Stephen Harper including as recently as Dec. 1, apparently while the investigation was ongoing.

The Prime Minister's Office issued it's own statement to the media saying it was "shock and dismayed" by the charges.

“No allegations of this nature have ever been brought to our attention,” Jason MacDonald, director of communications in the PMO, said in the statement. “Anyone found guilty of these charges should face the full force of the law."

The Ottawa Police are asking that anyone with information about other possible incidents involving the accused contact the Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Unit at 613-236-1222, ext. 5944 or phone Crime Stoppers at 613-233-8477 (TIPS) or toll free at 1-800-222-8477.

(This story was made possible thanks to their generous support of our local business partners.)

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