Two former Indigenous leaders in Nova Scotia facing sex-related charges: RCMP

RCMP

Two former Indigenous leaders in Nova Scotia are facing sexual assault charges.

The RCMP confirmed Tuesday that 52-year-old Joseph Wayne Morley Googoo, a former regional chief with the Assembly of First Nations, was recently charged with sexual assault after police received a complaint on Oct. 15, 2020.

RCMP spokesman Sgt. Andrew Joyce says the offence is alleged to have taken place in March 2013 in Googoo's home community of We'koqma'q, which is in central Cape Breton.

Joyce also confirmed that former We'koqma'q band councillor Cyrus John Bernard is facing six counts of sexual assault and six counts of sexual interference for offences that are alleged to have occurred between September 2014 and March 2015 in We'koqma'q.

In an emailed statement to CBC News, Googoo said the allegations were unfounded and a misrepresentation of his character.

In October 2019, Googoo was removed from his position as regional representative for Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador after the Assembly of First Nations investigated complaints alleging he had harassed women in the community, but those allegations were never proven in court.