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

Kettle Valley Steam Railway holds train ride of terror

Summerland tourist train will have Halloween-themed events

Penticton Vees alumni has NHL jersey retired by Anaheim Ducks

Paul Kariya played with the Penticton Vees from 1990-1992

Ballet Kelowna to kick off 16th season with pair of premiers

Fresh off performances in Beijing and Toronto, company will perform at KCT Nov. 16 and 17

Man charged with attempted murder in Oliver back in court

Andrew Bradley Miller pleaded guilty to charges of resisting arrest and failure to appear in court

Bittersweet ending for Penticton soccer player with UBC-O Heat

Bret Depner was honoured at his last UBC-Okanagan Heat soccer game

B.C. sailor surprised by humpback whale playing under her boat

Jodi Klahm-Kozicki said the experience was ‘magical’ near Denman Island

Ovechkin has 4 points as Caps rough up Canucks 5-2

WATCH: Defending champs pick up impressive win in Vancouver

World Junior Hockey fever hits Vernon

Vipers spice up floor ball demonstration at OK Landing School

Shuswap refugee family settles into new, more hopeful life

Father of 10th Syrian family to come to Salmon Arm says learning English, work, top priorities

RCMP seek missing Vernon man

Michael Ramsey, 49, was last seen Oct. 21

B.C. government moves to tighten resource industry regulations

New superintendent will oversee engineers, biologists, foresters

Election watchdog seeks digitally savvy specialists to zero in on threats

Move follows troublesome evidence of online Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election

Most Read