NEWS
02/06/2014 01:43 EST | Updated 04/08/2014 05:59 EDT

Phillip Nolan, drummer in Stephen Harper's band, charged with sexual assault

Ottawa police have charged a 43-year-old public school teacher and the drummer in Prime Minister Stephen Harper's band with sexual assault.

Police say Phillip I. Nolan has been charged with five counts each of sexual assault, sexual interference and sexual exploitation in connection with alleged incidents while Nolan was teaching at a school in the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board.

None of the allegations has been proven in court.

The Prime Minister's Office confirmed Thursday that Nolan is the drummer in Harper's band, Herringbone, and Harper has known Nolan for a "number of years."

"We are obviously shocked and disturbed by these charges," Harper's office said in a statement, adding they won't comment further since the issue is before the courts.

Neither Harper nor his office heard of any concerns regarding Nolan in the past, the PMO added.

Investigation began in fall

Police said the investigation began in November 2013 after a complaint about a sexual assault on a minor. The complaint accused Nolan while he was a teacher of Grade 7 and 8 students in Ottawa.

Police said there could be more victims.

Nolan is listed as the music teacher at Avalon Public School in the east Ottawa suburb of Orleans. Nolan's online profile with the Ontario College of Teachers indicates he earned his teaching certificate from Queen's University in 1994.

In 2005, Nolan also received the Arts Educator of the Year award from the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB) Arts Advisory.

Anyone with information about this case is asked to call Ottawa police at 613-236-1222, ext. 5944 or Crime Stoppers at 613-288-8477.

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