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Teacher, Former Drummer in Stephen Harper’s Band Pleaded Guilty to Molesting a Teen

Victim's impact statement says she was "sick at the thought that he was still working with young students."
Manisha Krishnan
Toronto, CA

Phillip Nolan, far right, with Herringbone. Photo courtesy 'The Canadian Press'

A junior high teacher from Ottawa who also backed up Stephen Harper's band has pleaded guilty to molesting a teenage student 15 years ago.

Phillip Nolan, 45, pleaded guilty this week to two counts of sexual interference for molesting a 13-year-old girl in his office and during a school trip, the Ottawa Citizen reports.

Nolan taught music and computer science at Ottawa's Avalon Public School; he was suspended last year during the course of the investigation.

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In addition to teaching, he was a drummer in Herringbone, a Celtic band that performed at shows across the country with the former prime minister.

At the time of his arrest, the Prime Minister's Office said it was "shocked and disturbed" to hear of the allegations against Nolan.

Speaking in court Thursday, Nolan's victim said the abuse made her feel isolated and ashamed.

"I was increasingly compelled to try to ensure that no one else would be sexually abused by Phillip Nolan," she said. "I felt guilty at not having been able to stop him sooner, and sick at the thought that he was still working with young students."

Nolan, who will be sentenced next year, apologized for his actions.

"The past two years have been a living hell for me. I want nothing more for this to be over."

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