Posts Tagged "sexual"


Ex-Gagetown soldier sentenced to 3 years for sexual assault released pending appeal | CBC News

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A former soldier at a Canadian forces base in New Brunswick who was sentenced Thursday in British Columbia to three years in prison for sexually touching an unconscious female colleague and secretly recording another using the washroom has been granted release pending an appeal.

Retired Cpl. Colin McGregor is appealing his court martial conviction and sentence at CFB Esquimalt in Victoria, said public affairs officer Maj. Edward Stewart.

The notice of appeal cites “the legality of any or all of the findings with regards to all [five] charges, and specifically the dismissal of the charter applications in respect of the search and seizure” of his home in Arlington, Va., in 2017, as well as “the delay,” said Stewart.

McGregor is also appealing the legality of the sentence imposed by the military judge, which included dismissal with disgrace from the Canadian Armed Forces, an order to provide a DNA sample for the sex offenders registry, and a 10-year prohibition from owning any weapons, including firearms, crossbows and explosives.

“It could be about six to nine months before the matter is heard,” said Stewart.

The court martial administrator has 90 days to produce the appeal book, and McGregor will then have 30 days to file his memorandum of fact and law, Stewart said. The Canadian Armed Forces will have 30 days to file a response and then a hearing date will be scheduled.

McGregor, who lives in Alberta, has been released on an undertaking to report his whereabouts to the military police, to not contact the complainants and to surrender himself into custody when required to do so, said Stewart.

The 14-year veteran was found guilty Monday of sexual assault, two counts of voyeurism, one count of possession of a device for surreptitious interception of private communication, and disgraceful conduct.

The offences occurred between Jan. 1, 2011, and Jan. 30, 2017.

The two victims were military members in Esquimalt and Washington at the time of the incidents, officials have said.

Sexual assault carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

McGregor was found not guilty on a second count of possession of devices and a charge of conduct to the prejudice of good order and discipline.

Victim discovered recording device

He was charged in May 2017 after the Washington-based victim discovered a recording device at her home.

Investigators and local police searched McGregor’s home and found a video of an alleged sexual assault in Esquimalt in 2011, officials previously said.

“A number of computers, hard drives, computer equipment and other media storage devices” were seized.

McGregor, who was a resource management support clerk with Canadian defence liaison staff in Washington when he was charged, was subsequently moved to the 5th Canadian Division Support Base Gagetown in Oromocto, N.B.

He retired from the military in September 2017.

He joined the Armed Forces as a regular member of the Canadian Army in July 2003 and served on various bases over the years, including Kingston and Borden, Ont.

He has also deployed on three missions: Bahrain in 2006, Afghanistan in 2011, and Kuwait in 2014.


$900-million settlement reached in class action on sexual misconduct in military

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OTTAWA — The federal government is paying $900 million to settle multiple class-action lawsuits lodged on behalf of survivors of sexual harassment, gender discrimination and sexual assault in the military.

The settlement provides $800 million for members of the Canadian Armed Forces and $100 million in compensation for another class of employees of the Department of National Defence.

Over the past few years, participants in several lawsuits alleging similar misconduct and systemic problems in the military agreed to co-operate in their legal actions against the government.

The government had originally sought to defend itself in court against the lawsuits, filing documents in December 2017 in an attempt to quash them.

But after facing criticism, the government moved to begin settlement proceedings in early 2018.

In Thursday’s settlement, the government also promises an external review of existing anti-harassment programs and revisions to how it deals with disability benefits for survivors of sexual assault or harassment.

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‘I am afraid’: Taxi driver’s sexual assault to result in deportation to India | CBC News

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In his bid to remain in Canada, Gurpreet Singh Gill lamented the impact of his crime on many collateral victims.

His wife — who faces the loss of her home. His daughter — who may have to leave private school and dance lessons. His son — born 10 days before Gill sexually assaulted a passenger in his taxi cab in 2012.

But there’s one victim the 42-year-old didn’t mention in his plea for compassion from a Canadian Federal Court judge: the young woman who said Gill’s actions changed her life forever.

“I am already filled with regret from my actions and conviction. I have brought shame to my family, and I understand that there are consequences for my conduct,” Gill wrote in an affidavit sworn to bolster his case to avoid deportation.

“However, my deepest regret is that my children will suffer for my conduct.”

A ‘tipsy’ passenger

Last week, Judge Luc Martineau dismissed Gill’s application for a judicial review of an immigration officer’s decision to reject the Surrey man’s attempt to stay in Canada on humanitarian and compassionate grounds.

The ruling brings to an end a tragic journey that began with Gill’s arrival in Canada a decade ago with his wife and young daughter.

Although highly educated, he was unable to get his Indian degrees accepted for Canadian certification and ended up working as a Yellow Cab taxi driver.

Gurpreet Singh Gill was working as a Yellow Cab taxi driver when he sexually assaulted a young female passenger in September 2012. (Shutterstock)

And on Sept. 2, 2012, at approximately 1:45 a.m., a woman referred to in court documents as K hopped into the front seat of his cab after leaving a bachelorette party.

She was tipsy. And after giving directions to her boyfriend’s house, K fell asleep.

Gill put the visor on the passenger side down, blocking the security camera’s view of the inside of the cab — a factor the sentencing judge would later claim as aggravating.

According to the record of the case, Gill touched K’s leg and she brushed his hand away, saying “no.” He then pushed her underwear aside and stuck two fingers into her vagina.

“Ms. K reacted by saying ‘stop’ and hitting the accused’s forearm. She then moved closer to the passenger side door,” the sentencing decision says.

Gill “tried to kiss her, and ultimately slobbered on Ms. K’s left lip and cheek area.”

He dropped her off at her boyfriend’s house and in the hours that followed, she underwent a forensic sexual assault examination at B.C. Women’s Hospital.

Referred to his sexual assault as ‘non-violent’

The subject of Gill’s possible deportation came up during the sentencing proceedings, because the judge was asked to consider a suspended sentence or a maximum of six months less a day — both of which would have seen him stay in Canada.

But the sentencing judge rejected that logic.

“This was disgraceful and disgusting conduct committed by a man in a position of trust who Ms. K was entitled to believe would transport her in a safe and reliable environment to her destination,” wrote B.C. Supreme Court Justice Patrice Abrioux.

Gurpreet Singh Gill fought his sentencing and conviction all the way to B.C.’s Court of Appeal, and he fought his deportation in Federal Court. He has lost every step of the way. (David Horemans/CBC)

A jury convicted Gill in 2014 and he was sentenced to three years in 2015. He fought the case to B.C.’s Court of Appeal, where his sentencing and conviction were upheld in 2017.

According to the Federal Court ruling, Gill’s wife and daughter didn’t tell his six-year-old son that he was in jail.

“They tell him that their father is working ‘there’ and because it is far from their home, he has to live there,” the decision says.

He was granted day parole, but the parole board denied Gill full parole, saying he continues to minimize his actions: “Indeed in his application for parole, he referred to his sexual assault as, ‘non-violent.'”

‘Breach of the social contract’

Gill was ordered deported in November 2017.

In his affidavit, Gill says his wife won’t be able to pay their mortgage without him and his children may have to leave the private school that costs the family $4,000 a year.

“I am afraid to return to India,” Gill wrote.

“More than that, I have so much fear about leaving my wife and children alone and without support in Canada.”

Gill also claimed his parents had been shunned in India by other family members as a result of his actions. And he feared worse.

“My conviction is known in India,” he wrote.

“I am afraid that my conviction may be used against me.”

But Martineau said he saw no reason to intervene in the deportation process, saying it was Gill’s actions that led to his criminal inadmissibility to Canada.

“This breach of the social contract can lead not only to consequences imposed by the criminal court,” the judge wrote.

“But also to [Gill’s] loss of his immigration status and related privileges.”

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North Vancouver police release sketch of suspect in alleged sexual assault

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Police in North Vancouver are asking for help in identifying a man in an alleged sexual assault.

North Vancouver RCMP are investigating after a woman reported that on Feb. 27 she was assaulted after letting a man inside her home to use the washroom.

Police say the home is in the Upper Capilano area of North Vancouver.

On Saturday, police released a sketch of the suspect in the case and said investigators don’t believe the public is at risk.

Police also offered a warning with the release to remind people not to allow strangers into their homes.

Officers are asking anyone who can identify the person in the sketch to contact Cst. Jeewan Bassi at 604-985-1311.

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Task force set up to tackle sexual harassment at UBC medical school

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UBC medical students are being sexually harassed more often than students in other Canadian medical schools, according to a new report.

An internal memo written by Dr. Andrea Townson, acting co-head of the UBC department of medicine, and sent to medical faculty at the University of British Columbia, refers to the “deeply concerning” results from a 2018 questionnaire of students who graduated from the 17 medical schools across Canada. Sexual remarks, uninvited touching and sexual assault are examples of harassment.

• Twelve per cent of students at UBC reported unwanted sexual advances and touching by faculty, fellow students, health professionals or patients, compared to a national average of 6.5 per cent.

• Thirty-three per cent of students at UBC said they were subjected to offensive sexist remarks, compared to the national average of 25 per cent.

• A third of UBC medical students also said they were subjected to racially offensive remarks, compared to the Canadian average of 12 per cent.

“We aren’t unique or isolated with these concerns but we are obviously not happy to see these high reported rates so it’s launched a number of different initiatives,” said Dr. Deborah Money, executive vice dean of the UBC medical school.

UBC results from the annual report have been “steady” over the past number of years, according to Money.

Money is chairing a dean’s task force meant to find ways to change the culture and environment at the medical school and to prevent mistreatment and harassment at the more than 80 training sites where UBC medical students learn, such as hospitals and clinics.

“Part of our work has to focus on learning from others, so we know what best practices look like.”

Sixty per cent of UBC medical graduates said they had been publicly humiliated. This may include being asked a question by a professor in a group setting, not knowing the answer and feeling shame about it because of, for example, how the instructor reacted.

This raises the question of whether students are becoming more sensitive to these kinds of learning tools.

“That’s a tough question. It’s an old style of teaching and how it’s done or how it’s perceived may be different in each scenario. We have actually made a video that tries to distinguish between being challenged academically and being bullied or called out so much that people feel humiliated,” she said.

Money said staff have collected data on the reported incidents of public humiliation, racially or sexually offensive remarks and unwanted sexual advances experienced by students.

Townson told clinical faculty members in the memo obtained by Postmedia that if they are concerned they’ve made a comment that might have been misinterpreted and want “a safe place to debrief” they should come and speak to her.

She said in the memo that “addressing student mistreatment” is a priority and students need a clear mechanism for reporting concerns. UBC has several satellite sites — Vancouver, Victoria, Kelowna and Prince George — where undergraduate students learn and Townson said in her memo that the disturbing reports are “not isolated to a single site or a single rotation.”

Money said there are about 700 professors in the medical school and about 7,000 clinical instructors. When students complain about a particular instructor or fellow student, an investigation is launched to determine whether coaching or discipline is required. Money said she couldn’t say how often that occurs but said expulsion is “rare and extreme.”

The survey of medical school graduates in Canada covers a broad range of topics about the quality of education and student experience and has been conducted annually by the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada since 2015.

UBC is the fifth largest medical school in North America with 288 students admitted each year, and 4,500 students doing residencies and other postgraduate work.

At the same time as UBC is grappling with the mistreatment issue, the Lancet has published the results of an alarming survey showing that sexual harassment — by patients, teachers and peers of medical students — is common in Canada.

The study by researchers in Ontario and Alberta shows that despite policies and complaint mechanisms intended to promote respectful conduct and to prevent harassment, students are subjected to everything from sexist remarks to rape. A total of 807 incidents were reported by 188 respondents to the 2016 anonymous survey. The harassment occurred in clinics, medical schools and social settings; patients requested medical students touch their sexual organs and they groped doctors. One student said she was raped by a fellow student. Faculty members were implicated in about 20 per cent of the incidents that were predominately experienced by female students. Men were the most frequent perpetrators.

The authors say that faculty, peers and victims come to almost normalize sexual harassment. Students try their best to ignore it while at the same time finding it “confusing, upsetting and embarrassing.”

Many don’t report it because staying silent is seen as “less risky than confrontation or official reporting.”

Dr. Susan Phillips, a professor at Queen’s University and co-author of the Lancet study, said it is clear that women who are practising doctors or studying to become doctors are not immune to harassment and sexual assault.

“This is a societal problem. And we have to find ways to decrease the incidence,” said Phillips, who several years ago published a study in the New England Journal of Medicine showing that 78 per cent of female doctors had been harassed by inappropriate comments or conduct by patients.

“Medical schools can’t fix societal problems but they can do more to legitimize student concerns. That means if they hear about a patient or faculty member making inappropriate comments, they don’t let it go. There has to be zero tolerance and in the case of faculty members, it has to be enforced.”

One limitation of the Lancet study is that few medical students completed the survey. There are about 11,600 medical students across Canada and just under 300 completed the consent form to submit answers to the anonymous survey.

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