A Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Justice employee at the Gander courthouse has been charged with sexual assault.

51-year-old Rick Freake is the deputy sheriff in Gander.

He's accused of sexually assaulting a woman in Gander in May.

Freake appeared in court in St. John's Wednesday and pleaded not guilty.

Department of Justice officials said they cannot comment on an employee’s status.

Freake is scheduled to go on trial in Gander in January.