Former Bridgewater, N.S. police chief convicted of sexual exploitation granted parole
HALIFAX -- A former Nova Scotia police chief who was sentenced to 15 months in jail earlier this year for sexually exploiting a 17-year-old girl has been granted full parole.
The Parole Board of Canada, in a decision dated July 17, granted parole to ex-Bridgewater, N.S., police chief John Collyer when he becomes eligible on Aug. 3.
Collyer was sentenced in March after being tried for sexual assault and sexual exploitation.
A judge found him guilty of both crimes, but ordered a conditional stay on the sexual assault conviction, based on the principle that an accused cannot be convicted of two offences arising from the same actions.
Collyer's release conditions forbid him from consuming or possessing alcohol and having direct contact with the victim or her family. He is also forbidden from working in a position of trust or authority with anyone under 18 years old.
The board said it didn't think Collyer presented an undue risk to society.
It also noted Collyer had no prior criminal history. "The board is satisfied that the contributing factors towards your criminality of personal emotional issues and substance abuse have been correctly identified by Correctional Service Canada," the board wrote in its ruling.
"The stress of your job combined with excessive alcohol abuse allowed you to cross the line in terms of your relationship with the young victim."
It said it believed Collyer's incarceration served as a deterrent to any future offending. "The board concludes that you have made observable and measurable change and thus mitigating to your risk to reoffend."
During the sentencing hearing in March, the victim, whose identity is protected by a publication ban, described Collyer as a father figure.
She told investigators that sometime in the spring of 2016, she and Collyer were driving in his small convertible when he sexually assaulted her. The victim, now 20 years old, said the assault transformed her from a fun and outgoing person to a reclusive, suspicious individual.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 27, 2020.