A 56-year-old Calgary man has been charged with sexual assault.
According to a release from the Calgary Police Service, Michael Noble has been charged in relation to a sexual assault that allegedly occurred on Tuesday, January 30.
Noble is a chef at Calgary restaurants The Nash and NOtaBLE.
The release says that a social gathering had taken place on 8th Avenue SW on the night of Monday, January 29, and in the early hours of Tuesday morning Noble allegedly followed a 21-year-old woman into the bathroom, cornered her in a stall, and sexually assaulted her.
The victim then pushed him away and left the bathroom, according to the release.
Police noted that Noble was the victim’s employer at the time of the alleged incident.
“It’s concerning at any time when situations like this take place,” said CPS Staff Seargent Tom Hansen, who addressed the charge at a media conference on Thursday.
“But it’s more disconcerting when it’s involving a person of authority or a person who is perceived to be an authority or somebody who takes advantage of somebody in a vulnerable position.”
The Nash and Notable released a statement in an email on Thursday shortly after the charge was laid.
“Our restaurants employ 140 talented Calgarians. They are, and will always be, our number one priority,” the statement read.
“The wellbeing of our staff takes precedence, and we are working with a third-party to ensure they have the support they need. We are committed to the people who make our restaurants what they are – our staff, our valued guests, and our community. It’s what we’ve always done, and it’s what we’ll continue to do.”
Balfour Der, Noble’s lawyer, spoke to media on Thursday afternoon, stating that Noble will be fighting the charge against him.
“We’ll defend this charge vigorously because the man absolutely denies this allegation,” Der said.
“He’ll maintain his innocence all the way through this, you can bet on that.”