Drummer in Rock Band Herringbone Charged with Sexual Assault
An Ottawa teacher who plays drums in Prime Minster Stephen Harper’s band has been charged following allegations that he sexually assaulted students.
Phillip Nolan (pictured left), faces five counts each of sexual assault and sexual interference with a minor. According to Ottawa Police, the charges date back to alleged incidents that occurred between 1998 and 2000 when Nolan taught as a grade seven and eight teacher within the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board.
Nolan is a member of Herringbone, an Ottawa Celtic band that Harper has performed with. He currently works at Avalon Public School as a music teacher, but a January school newsletter says he’s been “absent” and another instructor is filling his role.
During the investigation, Nolan was removed from the classroom at Avalon Public School in the city’s east end and placed on administrative duties, the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board said in a statement. He has now been suspended.
“This is an extremely difficult situation and as a parent myself, I share the concerns that our community is feeling,” said Jennifer Adams, the board’s director of education.
Police said they’re concerned there could be other victims. Anyone with information has been asked to contact them.
In a statement, Harper’s Director of Communications Jason MacDonald said the Prime Minister’s Office is “shocked and disturbed” by the 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,” the statement said.
“Given that this individual is now facing charges, it would be inappropriate to comment any further at this time.”