Former Pratt principal charged with historic sex crimes

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

The former principal at High Prairie E.W. Pratt High School is facing serious criminal charges.

Yellowknife RCMP General Investigations Section [GIS] have laid charges of sexual assault and exploitation in a historical investigation against Neil Barry.

Marie York-Condon, media relations officer, Northwest Territories RCMP, says Yellowknife GIS has been working with RCMP in Alberta in what is believed to be a cross-jurisdictional investigation.

“Alberta RCMP received information on a historical sexual assault and opened the investigation,” she says.

“As the occurrence had taken place within Yellowknife and the Northwest Territories, Yellowknife GIS took the lead in the investigation.”

The incident is believed to have occurred in the summer of 2009 at tryouts for the 2010 Arctic Winter Games.

Barry worked in the Northwest Territories between 2007-17. He worked in the communities of Tulita and Fort Simpson and travelled to Yellowknife and potentially other communities in the NWT.

“The accused moved to High Prairie in 2017,” says York-Condon.

Neil Barry was appointed principal of E.W. Pratt High School in High Prairie in 2017

“[He] has history with the High Prairie School Division No. 48. High Prairie RCMP are aware of the investigation.”

On June 15, Western Alberta RCMP General Investigation Section arrested Barry in High Prairie and charged him with two counts each of sexual assault and sexual exploitation under the Criminal Code of Canada.

Barry will appear in Territorial Court on Aug. 10.

All allegations are unproven.

“As with any investigation of this nature, the RCMP are sensitive to how difficult it can be for a victim to report an abuser, whether it is immediately after an offence occurred or a length of time has passed,” says York-Condon.

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

For Yellowknife, please call Yellowknife RCMP at 669-1111 and ask for the General Investigations Section.

 If you wish to remain anonymous, call Crimestoppers at [1-800] 222-8477, or text nwtnutips plus your message to 274637.

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