2018-04-11

Bridgewater’s suspended police chief committed to stand trial on sex charges

by Keith Corcoran

  • <p>KEITH CORCORAN PHOTO</p><p>John Collyer leaves a Bridgewater courtroom April 9 during a break in the preliminary inquiry.</p>

A provincial court judge ruled there's enough evidence against Bridgewater's suspended top cop to warrant a Nova Scotia Supreme Court trial on indictable sex charges.

John William Collyer, 54, of Crouses Settlement was deemed committed to stand trial by Judge Elizabeth Buckle following a preliminary inquiry that lasted a day-and-a-half in Bridgewater.

The court heard from three witnesses during the proceedings.

Collyer is charged with two counts of sexual exploitation and one count of sexual assault. The allegation that he touched a young girl with his hand for a sexual purpose and the charge of sexual assault in relation to the same complainant are alleged to have occurred between May and July of 2016. The charge that he invited the same young person to touch him for a sexual purpose is alleged to have occurred between April and July 2016.

Collyer's case will be in front of a Nova Scotia Supreme Court justice in Bridgewater at the end of the month when potential trial dates could be set.

Halifax attorney Roland Levesque of the province's special prosecutions section is dealing with the case on behalf of the Crown. Dartmouth lawyer David Bright is Collyer's defence counsel.

Collyer was placed on administrative leave in August 2016 after it went public that the Serious Incident Response Team (SIRT), the province's independent police watchdog, was investigating his actions in relation to a female teen.

He was suspended in May 2017 when word came that SIRT laid charges.

Collyer has been a member of the Bridgewater's police force since 1990. He rose to the rank of deputy chief in 2009 before becoming chief in 2011.

He received the provincial justice minister's crime prevention leadership award in 2010 for his volunteer work with South Shore Big Brothers Big Sisters.

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