Nova Scotia

Dalhousie dentistry women in Facebook scandal sought in police appeal

Female dentistry students at Dalhousie University who were the targets of misogynistic Facebook posts are being asked to come forward by Halifax police in order to determine if there has been any criminal wrongdoing.

University denies, then allows Halifax police access to offending Facebook posts

University denies, then allows Halifax police access to offending Facebook posts 1:21

Female dentistry students at Dalhousie University who were the targets of misogynistic Facebook posts are being asked to come forward by Halifax police in order to determine if there has been any criminal wrongdoing.

The police are trying to establish if any of the posts on the Class of DDS 2015 Gentlemen Facebook group contravene the Criminal Code.

In one of the posts in the group, male students voted on which female classmate they'd like to have "hate" sex with and joked about using chloroform on women. In another post, a woman was shown in a bikini with the caption, "Bang until stress is relieved or unconscious."

Police in Halifax made a formal request to Dalhousie University to see the offending Facebook posts, which were taken down shortly before CBC News broke this story last month.

Const. Pierre Bourdages said the university denied the request on Tuesday, citing privacy reasons.

Bourdages said Halifax Police have not received a complaint, but do want to speak to the women involved.

"We have yet to hear any complaints from any of the women involved in this incident. So we are asking for these alleged victims to please come forward to police if they wish to do so," he said.

"We would like to be able to speak with them to see exactly what they've gone through and if there is any allegation of criminal wrongdoing but at this time we have no evidence of any criminal offence."

A university spokesperson said Tuesday evening that there was a "misunderstanding" and Dalhousie will co-operate with police.

"Of course, Dalhousie will share the requested information with Halifax Regional Police in compliance with the law," said a statement from Brian Leadbetter, a spokesman for the university.

Bourdages said police have not received complaints from any of the people involved in the controversy, although he said police have heard from members of the public calling for an investigation.

"If we don't receive any information that something criminal has happened either through the review of these posts or through a complaint from one of the alleged victims, there will not be any police investigation," Bourdages said.

Bourdages said police would meet with the women privately and would not divulge their identities.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.