It's been nearly three years since John Collyer was first accused of sexual assault and sexual exploitation.

Now, the former chief of the Bridgewater Police Service is on trial.

Due to the nature of the allegations, a publication ban is in place, to protect the identity of the victim, who was 17 in 2016 at the time when the offences allegedly took place.

“It's always difficult for victims to go through the process of a trial because of the fact that, as you just mentioned, there are often long delays before you get to court,” said Crown Attorney Roland Levesque. “That period of time is always stressful on the victims.”

The Crown plans to call about 10 witnesses.

The first person to take the stand today was the mother of the complainant.

In order to protect her daughter's identity, she can’t be identified.

The woman told the court that her family knew Collyer well and that she became concerned about what she describes as inappropriate Facebook messages that appeared to have taken place between the teen and Collyer.

Lawyers spent much of the day arguing about the admissibility of those messages. 

“They're part of our Crown's case and we view it as being quite important,” Levesque said.

Although the trial just started, things are already behind schedule.

In total, there have been six days booked for the proceeding which is being tried by a judge alone.

“We have next Monday booked, so, after that, we don't have any firm dates,” Levesque said. “So, we're hoping that we'll able to conclude the matter between now and Monday of next week.”

Halifax lawyer David Bright is representing Collyer and, Tuesday he declined to speak about the case.

Collyer has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

There is no word on whether Collyer will testify.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Natasha Pace.