— Mackay Taggart (@mackaytaggart) February 6, 2014
Phil Nolan, 43, is the drummer in Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s band. He has been arrested on charges of sexual assault of a minor dating from 1998-2000, according to police in Ottawa.
Here’s what you need to know about him:
1. The Assaults Date Back 15 Years
The charges stem from Nolan’s time as a music school teacher within the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board. He taught seventh and eight grade. He is accused of sexually assaulting his former students. According to the Ottawa Sun, police had been investigating Nolan since November 2013 when a man came forward with the allegations, though the charges are related to two female victims.
2. PM Harper Performs in Nolan’s Band
Nolan performs in the band Herringbone with Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The band’s style is described as “Ottawa Celtic.”
The Prime Minister’s office have released a statement, Director of Communications, Jason MacDonald who said:
We are obviously shocked and disturbed by these serious charges.
No allegations of this nature have ever been brought to our attention. Anyone found guilty of these charges should face the full force of the law.
Given that this individual is now facing charges, it would be inappropriate to comment any further at this time.
3. Nolan is an Award Winning Teacher
According to his official profile on Herringbone’s website:
Phil currently teaches music in the Ottawa Public Board, where he directs several award-winning bands. He is also the 2005 recipient of the Arts Educator of the Year award given by the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board Arts Advisory. He won that award previously in 1996 with the Ontario Board of Education.
The profile also states he has a Bachelor of Music from Queen’s University, graduating in 1994 and he worked extensively in musicial theater.
A search on the Ontario School’s website, describes Nolan as a teacher in “good standing.” Added to his Bachelor of Music it states he has a Bachelor of Education, also from Queen’s. His latest in a longer list of minor qualifications states he completed a course in “Integration of Information and Computer Technology in Instruction” in December 2011.
The Ottawa Sun reports that he is currently a teacher at Avalon public school in Orleans, Ontario. It’s not been released if the students at the center of the investigation were from Avalon. An official statement from the Ontario School Board said that, “Nolan had been removed from the classroom during the investigation. He is to be suspended pending the resolution of his criminal charges and the board is notifying the teacher’s college.”
4. There Might Be More Victims
In total, Nolan is facing charges of “5 counts of Sexual assault, 5 counts of Sexual interference and 5 counts of Sexual exploitation.” Cops have also expressed concerns that there may be more victims.
5. The Band Have Performed Many High Profile Shows
Nolan has performed at prominent events with Harper such as the 2010 Canadian Conservative party caucus.