Complainant to testify at sexual assault trial of former Bridgewater police chief

Follow our live blog from the trial at the bottom of this article.

The complainant is set to take the stand as the sexual assault trial of the former Bridgewater police chief resumes on Thursday.

John Collyer is accused of sexually assaulting and exploiting a 17-year-old girl between April and July 2016. The teen cannot be named due to a publication ban on her identity.

Court heard on Wednesday that hundreds of messages were deleted from a Facebook conversation between Collyer and the teen he’s accused of assaulting.

According to raw data retrieved from Facebook in California, 596 messages were exchanged between Collyer’s account and the 17-year-old between April 2015 and August 2016, court heard.

Of the 596 messages, court heard that 536 were deleted, according to the data provided by Facebook.

The trial is now running a few days behind schedule, putting pressure on counsel and the court system to wrap up the legal battle before the fall.

According to the Supreme Court of Canada’s Jordan decision, an accused person facing an indictable offence has the right to be tried within a “reasonable time” — in this case, 30 months. That period will end on Nov. 3, 2019.

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