Complaints against former RCMP doctors accused of sexual misconduct hit 80

Toronto doctor was allegedly particularly focused on women’s nipples during medical examinations

More than 80 complaints have now been received against two former RCMP doctors under investigation for alleged sexual misconduct spanning decades, police in Ontario and Nova Scotia say.

Toronto police have logged more than 20 complaints against a retired doctor in the Mounties’ Ontario division, while Halifax police have received “in excess of 60 complaints” against a former Nova Scotia doctor.

“These reports are still being investigated and no final decisions have been made on potential outcomes as yet,” Meaghan Gray of the Toronto Police Service said by email Monday. She added that it’s “still too early in the process” to say whether charges will be laid.

It is the first time Toronto police have revealed the number of complaints they have received, while Halifax police said Friday they had received about 50 complaints to that point.

The Toronto doctor was allegedly particularly focused on women’s nipples during medical examinations, while the Halifax doctor, nicknamed Dr. Fingers, has been accused of inappropriate and unnecessary vaginal and rectal examinations.

The force’s commanding officer in Nova Scotia, Assistant Commissioner Brian Brennan, said last week that ”a multiple of dozens” of women have brought forward allegations of incidents between October 1981 and July 2003 at the RCMP health services office in the Halifax suburb of Bedford.

READ MORE: RCMP recruits ‘deeply afraid’ to speak out about alleged sex abuse: Lawyer

READ MORE: ‘They gave me my life back’: RCMP member on harassment report

In a note to officers, he said he expects “many more” women to come forward in the months ahead.

“I am at a loss for words as I write this message to you. To say I’m shocked and disheartened doesn’t seem like enough,” Brennan wrote in the internal memo.

Assistant Commissioner Stephen White, the force’s acting chief human resources officer, said in an email to members that the allegations involved a doctor who conducted recruitment medical examinations and periodic health assessments on members.

The retired doctor declined to respond publicly on the allegations when reached last week.

The claims against the physicians mirror widespread complaints about sexual harassment in the national police force that led the federal court to approve a landmark settlement last spring.

Megan McPhee, a principal with a Toronto-based law firm serving as counsel in the class-action lawsuit, said last week that the physicians allegedly abused their power over vulnerable young recruits who were “deeply afraid” that speaking out would damage their careers in the RCMP.

“The issues we’re hearing with respect to the Halifax doctor are arising very early in the employment, when there is a potential power imbalance between a doctor and a woman who is trying to fulfil her dream of becoming an RCMP officer,” she said.

“Women simply don’t feel comfortable coming forward because they’re so deeply afraid of the impact that speaking out could have on their careers.”

The deadline for the uncapped class action settlement is Feb. 8.

Brett Bundale, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Tweedsmuir Park wildfires grow to encompass more than 200,000 hectares

Four fires now managed under one as Tweedsmuir Complex, evacation orders and alerts still in place

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

B.C. declares state of emergency as more than 560 wildfires rage

This is only the fourth state of emergency ever issued during a fire season

UPDATE: 5 injured in plane crash following Abbotsford International Airshow

One in critical condition in incident involving vintage plane

Social media, digital photography allow millennials to flock to birdwatching

More young people are flocking to birdwatching than ever, aided by social media, digital photography

Former B.C. premier Christy Clark criticizes feds for buying pipeline

The $4.5 billion purchase of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline second worst decision, she said

‘Takes more courage to fail’: B.C. ultra-marathon swimmer reflects on cancelled try at record

Susan Simmons halted her swim from Victoria to Port Angeles and back because of hypothermia

Animals moved from B.C. Interior shelters to make way for pets displaced by wildfires

The Maple Ridge SPCA houses animals to make space for pets evacuated from B.C.’s burning interior.

$21.5 million medical pot plant to be built in B.C.

The facility is to be built in Princeton

Spokane man enlists 500,000+ box fans to blow wildfire smoke back to B.C.

Spokane man Caleb Moon says he’s had enough with smoky skies from B.C.’s forest fires blanketing his city

Feds agree to look at easing jury secrecy as part of review

At issue is a law that forbids jurors from talking about closed-door deliberations

Forest fuel work needed to slow wildfires, B.C. premier says

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan joins John Horgan for tour

Liberals unveil poverty plan with lofty goals, but no new spending

Government’s goal is to lift 2.1 million people out of poverty by 2030

Most Read