A Liberal MP accused of sexually assaulting a woman at a bar in Halifax says that the accusation is the result of mistaken identity.
Francis Drouin, MP for Glengarry-Prescott-Russell, was in town to attend the 2018 National Liberal Convention.
In a statement released on Tuesday afternoon, Drouin, 34, says he arrived at an establishment in downtown Halifax at approximately 2:00 a.m.
Halifax Regional Police have confirmed to Global News that the bar in question is the Halifax Alehouse, a popular pub located on Brunswick Street, and is only a block from the Nova Centre, the convention centre that hosted the 2018 National Liberal Convention.
READ MORE: Police say alleged sexual assault happened in popular Halifax bar near Liberal convention
Drouin says that at the Alehouse, his party approached the bar to buy a round of drinks.
“While I was standing facing the bar, with my credit card in hand, I heard what I believed to be a woman’s voice coming from another area of the establishment behind me, yelling that her buttocks had been grabbed,” Drouin said in his statement.
“Her comments were clearly not directed towards me.”
Drouin says he turned around and yelled “Get that man out of here” to draw attention to the incident before turning back to the bar to pay for his drinks.
The 34-year-old says he and the rest of his party moved to another area of the establishment.
“Several minutes later, while standing with a group of people, I was approached by a woman with a cellphone in hand, who mistakenly attempted to connect me with the alleged incident. We told her that she was mistaken,” Drouin writes in his statement.
He then says his party left the bar.
On Saturday, he says he proactively informed the Prime Minister’s Office and the office of the Liberal Party Whip of the alleged incident.
“The police have been gathering multiple witness statements and I have been cooperating fully. As I have already said, I believe that it is important for individuals to have a safe environment to come forward and be supported. I am confident that the facts of the issue will lead to a clear outcome,” Drouin said.
Const. Carol McIsaac, a spokesperson for the police department, said on Monday that police will not identify the victim or any suspects, but added that no charges have been laid.
WATCH: Alleged sexual assault by Liberal MP being investigated by Halifax Regional Police
The alleged incident occurred on the weekend when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, along with many other high-ranking Liberal party members, attended a seminar on sexual violence prevention titled “From MeToo to never again: creating safe work environments.”
The 34-year-old has been described as a rising star in the Liberal party and moderated a panel at the convention on Saturday with Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay.
McIsaac is asking anyone who has information about the incident or who may have seen anything to contact police.
Their investigation continues.
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