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Banff town councillor charged with sexual assault

Banff town councillor High Pettigrew has been charged with sexual assault.

Pettigrew, 65, faces one count of sexual assault stemming from an alleged incident with a woman on Dec. 23, 2023.

A publication ban protects the identity of the complainant.

In an email to CBC News, Pettigrew said he was “shocked” to learn of the accusation.

“This false accusation has caused a very difficult time for me and my family,” he wrote.

Defence lawyer Tonii Roulston says the case is still in its early stages.

“We have yet to receive the disclosure,” said Roulston. “My client is presumed innocent just like any other Canadian that comes before our courts.”

Release conditions

Pettigrew is under court order to stay away from the victim’s home and place of work. He is also prohibited from having any communications with her. 

In a statement posted to the town’s website, Banff Mayor Corrie DiManno said “any allegation of sexual assault or misconduct is a matter that must be taken very seriously.”

“We are extremely concerned about the allegations that have resulted in criminal charges,” said DiManno. 

“As this matter progresses through the court system, my fellow members of council and I will convene to discuss any available recourse, if warranted, under our Code of Conduct bylaw.” 

DiManno said, however, that council would respect the justice system process.

Alberta’s Municipal Governments Act allows for elected officials to continue serving even if they face criminal charges. 

The matter is back in court next month.

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