Member of Stephen Harper's band faces sex charges

Danielle Bell, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:28 AM ET

OTTAWA ©¤ Stephen Harper's drummer is facing sex charges against two girls dating back 16 years.

The 15 charges laid Thursday against Phillip I. Nolan relate to his role as a music teacher at Avalon Public School in Orl¨¦ans. Police believe there could be more victims.

The investigation began in November, following a complaint of a sex assault on a minor while Nolan was a teacher for Grade 7 and 8 students.

One of the alleged victims, who is now an adult, came forward, and the investigation led to another possible victim.

Those charges ©¤ five counts of sexual assault, five counts of sexual interference and five counts of sexual exploitation ©¤ date back to incidents between 1998 and 2000.

Nolan, 43, was "very shocked" by the charges and will vigorously defend himself, his lawyer Lou Strezos said.

As well as being an award-winning music teacher, Nolan also plays in the band Herringbone, which features the prime minister on piano.

"We are obviously shocked and disturbed by these serious charges," says a statement issued by Jason MacDonald, director of communications for the PMO. "No allegations of this nature have ever been brought to our attention. Anyone found guilty of these charges should face the full force of the law.

"Given that this individual is now facing charges, it would be inappropriate to comment any further at this time."

Bandmates were not immediately available to comment.


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