McMaster professor charged with sexual assault of student

An associate professor at McMaster University has been arrested after Hamilton police allege he sexually assaulted a student.

46-year-old Scott Watter has been arrested and police believe there may be more victims

A McMaster professor is facing sexual assault charges. (Bobby Hristova/CBC)

An associate professor at McMaster University has been arrested after Hamilton police allege he sexually assaulted a student.

The victim, a woman, said she met her professor in Hamilton.

Scott Watter was arrested Thursday for the allegations which stem back to 2017.

Watter works in the department of psychology, neuroscience and behaviour. A teaching profile online notes he "studies attention and cognition and is interested in how these areas affect musical processing."

Detective Jennifer Currie with Hamilton Police Service tells CBC News the investigation began in February.

Wade Hemsworth, a McMaster spokesperson, said Watter was suspended that month after "serious allegations that could involve a number of policies including McMaster's Sexual Violence Policy."

"When concerns were raised the university acted quickly to support those involved and to launch an investigation. The privacy of those involved means we cannot provide details of the allegations or the ongoing investigation," he wrote to CBC News.

"In addition to the suspension, the faculty member was no longer allowed to access campus."

Hemsworth said the university learned of the charges today.

Watter faces a sexual assault charge and a charge of sexual assault causing bodily harm.

Police believe there may be other victims.

Watter will be in court on July 30.


Bobby Hristova is a journalist with CBC Hamilton. He reports on all issues, but has a knack for stories that hold people accountable, stories that focus on social issues and investigative journalism. He previously worked for the National Post and CityNews in Toronto. You can contact him at bobby.hristova@cbc.ca.