North

Former N.W.T. teacher fails to appear in court for sexual assault charges

Neil Barry, who is charged with sexual assault and exploitation, failed to appear in territorial court Tuesday. A warrant is now out for his arrest.

A warrant is now out for the arrest of Neil Barry, said the Crown prosecutor

Neil Barry is charged with two counts of sexual assault and two counts of sexual exploitation for incidents that allegedly occurred in the summer of 2009, during the 2010 Arctic Winter Games tryouts. (Walter Strong/CBC)
  • UPDATE, Aug. 11, 2021: This warrant has since been rescinded as Barry's lawyer has asserted it was his mistake not to appear in court on his client's behalf. Find our latest story here

A former N.W.T. teacher, basketball coach, and principal charged with sexual assault and exploitation failed to appear in territorial court Tuesday. 

Neil Barry is charged with two counts of sexual assault and two counts of sexual exploitation for incidents that allegedly occurred in the summer of 2009, during the 2010 Arctic Winter Games tryouts. 

He was scheduled to make his first appearance in territorial criminal court in Yellowknife, but he failed to appear. 

A warrant is now out for Barry's arrest, said the Crown prosecutor Duane Praught. 

Barry worked in the N.W.T., between 2007 and 2017. He worked as a teacher in Tulita and Fort Simpson where he was also a basketball coach. Before moving to High Prairie, Alta., he was the principal of Fort Simpson's high school. 

He has spent the last four years as a teacher and principal in High Prairie, Alta., where the accused has "history with the High Prairie School District No. 48," according to a June 17 statement from the Northwest Territories RCMP

"High Prairie RCMP are aware of the investigation," said the statement, which noted that charges were laid following a cross-jurisdictional investigation. 

While living in the North, Barry traveled to Yellowknife, and potentially other communities as well. 

"If you, or someone you know, have any information related to these offences or potentially others, please report it to your local RCMP." 

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