Former Bridgewater police chief found guilty of sexual exploitation – Halifax


Warning: This story contains graphic and disturbing content. Discretion is advised.

Bridgewater’s former police chief has been found guilty of sexual exploitation in connection with interactions he had with a minor in 2016.

John Collyer was convicted in Bridgewater provincial court on Thursday.

READ MORE: Complainant cross-examined in former Bridgewater police chief’s sexual assault trial

The complainant, whose identity is protected under a publication ban, was 17 years old at the time of the offences, which occurred between April and July 2016.

Court heard that Collyer communicated with the complainant via Facebook Messenger. The messages were discovered during summer 2016, when the complainant is said to have gone missing for a short period of time during a local fair, court heard.

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1:38John Collyer called messages he sent to teenage girl “inappropriate”

John Collyer called messages he sent to teenage girl “inappropriate”

The complainant’s mother testified that Collyer was a close family friend and was viewed as a “parent” by her two children.

She told court she was surprised, angry and confused to discover a thread of Facebook messages between him and her daughter that were, as she described, “sexual” in nature.


Collyer was also found guilty of sexual exploitation, but a conditional stay was issued on the charge due to the rule against multiple convictions for a single criminal act.

Collyer was placed on administrative leave from his role as chief of police shortly afterwards and was suspended in May 2017 after the province’s Serious Incident Response Team (SiRT) laid one charge of sexual assault and two charges of sexual exploitation against him.

READ MORE: Complainant testifies at sexual assault trial of former Bridgewater police chief

One of the latter charges has since been dropped.

The Town of Bridgewater announced in an August 2018 statement that the 26-year veteran of the force was no longer employed by the town.

More to come.

— With files from Alexa MacLean and Elizabeth McSheffrey

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