Toronto Deputy Mayor Michael Thompson charged with 2 counts of sexual assault
Thompson, a city councillor for Scarborough Centre, surrendered to the OPP on Thursday
Toronto Deputy Mayor Michael Thompson has been charged with two counts of sexual assault, police say.
In a news release issued Friday, Ontario Provincial Police said the 62-year-old has been charged in connection with assaults that allegedly happened in Muskoka, Ont. earlier this year. A complaint was made about Thompson in September, the OPP said.
"No further details will be provided to protect the identity of the victims," the news release reads.
Toronto lawyer Calvin Barry, who is representing Thompson, said the city councillor surrendered to the OPP on Thursday morning. Barry said the allegations, which he said date back to July, are "baseless.
"Mr. Thompson asserts his innocence and looks forward to an early exoneration so he can move on with his life. We will defend the baseless allegations," Barry told CBC Toronto.
Barry told The Canadian Press that the charges are "on the lower end of the spectrum" and Thompson will plead not guilty.
Thompson, who represents Ward 21, Scarborough Centre, was issued a promise to appear in court. His court appearance is scheduled for Nov. 1 in Bracebridge. He is seeking re-election in October's municipal election,
Thompson to resign as deputy mayor, Tory says
Thompson himself has not responded to a request for comment.
Toronto Mayor John Tory said in a statement on Thursday night that he takes sexual assault allegations and charges against any person "very seriously."
Tory added that Thompson has agreed to resign from his positions immediately as chair of Toronto's Economic and Community Development Committee and deputy mayor for the east end of the city.
"While the councillor is facing these charges, it would not be appropriate for him to continue serving as a deputy mayor or chair of a standing council committee," Tory said in the statement.
Tory added that he will not make further comment as the matter works its way through the courts.
With files from The Canadian Press