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Alleged sexual assault happened in popular Halifax bar near Liberal convention: police

Francis Drouin looks on while attending the 70th annual Glengarry Highland Games in Maxville, Ont., Friday, August 4, 2017. The Canadian Press/Fred Chartrand

Halifax Regional Police (HRP) say that an alleged sexual assault reported over the weekend took place in a popular downtown bar. Police say they hope the information will encourage more people to come forward with information about the incident.

“The police received a report on the afternoon of April 21, of a woman who had been sexually assaulted at the Halifax Alehouse earlier that morning sometime between 2:30 a.m. and 3 a.m.,” said Const. Carol McIsaac, a spokesperson for the police department, on Monday.

McIsaac said police will not identify the victim or any suspects but added that no charges have been laid.

The HRP’s sexual assault investigative team are leading the investigation.

READ MORE: Halifax police investigating alleged sexual assault involving Liberal MP

The Alehouse, a popular pub located on Brunswick Street, is only a block from the Nova Centre convention centre — which hosted the 2018 National Liberal Convention.

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On Sunday, the office of Liberal MP Francis Drouin, 34, who represents the riding of Glengarry-Prescott-Russell, confirmed to Global News that he is the subject of an allegation, though he did not say what the allegation was.

“I would like to address reports of an incident that took place this weekend in Halifax. I can confirm that an allegation has been made. I believe it is important for individuals to have a safe environment to come forward, share their stories, and be supported,” Drouin said in a statement to Global News.

“While no charges have been laid against me, I’m cooperating fully with the investigation.”

Police would not confirm that Drouin was a suspect in their investigation.

A source, who was present and near Drouin at the time of the incident, told Global News that Drouin was in a crowded bar when a woman became agitated because she believed someone in the bar grabbed her buttocks.

Drouin allegedly approached the woman to see what had agitated her and was accused by the woman of inappropriately grabbing her buttocks, the source said.

The source believes Drouin did nothing wrong and was mistakenly accused by the victim.

WATCH: Alleged sexual assault by Liberal MP being investigated by Halifax Regional Police

Click to play video: 'Alleged sexual assault by Liberal MP being investigated by Halifax Regional Police' Alleged sexual assault by Liberal MP being investigated by Halifax Regional Police
Alleged sexual assault by Liberal MP being investigated by Halifax Regional Police – Apr 22, 2018

Drouin was in town to attend the National Liberal Convention and the alleged incident occurred on the weekend where Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, along with many other high-ranking Liberal party members, attended a seminar on sexual violence prevention titled, “From MeToo to never again: creating safe work environments.”

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The 34-year-old has been described as a rising star in the Liberal party and moderated a panel at the convention on Saturday with Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay.

McIsaac is asking anyone who has information about the incident or who may have seen anything to contact police.

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