Winnipeg child psychologist arrested in child porn bust

A 72-year-old psychologist in Winnipeg has been charged with possessing child pornography.

Arrested at home in Fort Rouge area where police seized electronics with child sexual abuse images

Police say they arrested a man at a home in the city's Fort Rouge area and seized an electronic device that was displaying child sexual abuse images. (CBC)

A Winnipeg child psychologist who works with kids and trains medical students has been charged with possession of child pornography.

Winnipeg police announced Thursday they had laid the charge against Gary Anthony Shady, 72.

The charge comes after police allege child sexual abuse imagery was uploaded to an online storage and computing service. The provider notified the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in the United States, who contacted their Canadian counterparts and Winnipeg police who began investigating in early October.

Officers arrested Shady on Wednesday at a Fort Rouge home and allege they found an electronic device displaying child sexual abuse images in the home. "At this time it's not immediately clear where these images are from. Certainly, they're concerning," said Winnipeg police spokesperson Const. Jay Murray.

Shady is a Winnipeg Regional Health Authority employee and has patients at the Manitoba Adolescent Treatment Centre and Health Sciences Centre, said WRHA spokesperson Amy McGuinness.

Placed on leave at the WRHA

McGuinness said Shady's work primarily involves children, youth, young adults and families. She said after the WRHA learned about the charge, health officials placed him on administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal investigation.

"Staff at both HSC and MATC will be reaching out to Dr. Shady's current patients and their families in the coming days to provide support and information on plans to transition their care to other clinicians," McGuinness said, adding the WRHA is actively co-operating with police in their investigation.

Police allege Gary Anthony Shady uploaded child sexual abuse images to an online storage service. (Instagram)

University of Manitoba spokesperson John Danakas said Shady provided clinical training to medical students at a clinic/ treatment centre off-campus this year and gave at least one two-hour on-campus session.

Murray said after officers executed their search, they seized other devices which detectives are now searching through. He said their work could take months."There's a lot of investigation that goes forward. You can imagine, even just thinking of your own computers at home, how much data is on them, so investigators now have to go through that information with a fine tooth comb and see if any other images are located."

Dr. Alan Slusky, registrar for the Psychological Association of Manitoba, said while he was unable to comment on this case specifically, registered psychologists in Manitoba are obliged to conduct themselves in accordance with a detailed code of ethics and professional standards.

"We are taking this matter very seriously and given the recency of this news we are gathering information as quickly as we can," he said in an email.

Tourette Canada responded, saying they were "shocked" to learn of the allegations. The organization said Shady did not work for it but at one time was an advisor for its Winnipeg Chapter. 

The organization said effective immediately Shady has no involvement with its Winnipeg chapter.

Shady couldn't be reached for comment on Thursday.