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Police investigate after hundreds gathered for event in Woodstock, Ont.

A 25-year-old Woodstock man is facing sexual assault and criminal harassment charges.
A 25-year-old Woodstock man is facing sexual assault and criminal harassment charges. File Photo

Police say charges are pending after hundreds gathered for a so-called “Freedom Rally” in Woodstock on Sunday afternoon.

Officers attended the scene Sunday, where police say a group of roughly 300 people assembled at Museum Square.

Police say the event was in violation of the province’s current stay-at-home order, which permits only up to five people to gather outside with physical distancing and facial coverings.

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“The Woodstock Police Service continues to be committed to safeguarding the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms while at the same time ensuring the safety and security of everyone,” a police statement read.

“Woodstock residents have been largely compliant with the current restrictions, but police are reminding the public that participation in such events could lead to charges. … The stay-at-home order requires individuals to stay at home except for essential purposes.”

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Police say the investigation is ongoing and potential charges are pending.

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