Nova Scotia

RCMP doctor won't face charges over historical sexual assault allegations

'After thoroughly investigating each report, investigators determined that the evidence did not support the laying of charges,' Halifax police said Tuesday.

Halifax police say they didn't find evidence to lay charges after dozens of people complained

About 40 people accused the RCMP doctor of assault, but Halifax police say they didn't find evidence to support charges against him. (Jason Franson/Canadian Press)

An RCMP doctor accused of dozens of sexual assaults dating back decades won't face any charges, Halifax Regional Police said Tuesday.

Const. John MacLeod said police had ended their investigation into allegations that the doctor used his position with the RCMP to assault women and men at the RCMP health services office in the Halifax area.

"After thoroughly investigating each report, investigators determined that the evidence did not support the laying of charges," MacLeod said by email.

He said police won't answer any questions about the case. He didn't say at how many cases police looked into, but the 14-month investigation into dozens of complaints ended with an 88-word police release.

The RCMP last year said about 40 people, men and women, were either applicants to join the force or active members when the doctor treated them between 1981 and 2003. That meant they had to do the exam as part of joining the force. The doctor was accused of touching the people inappropriately during the exams.

RCMP handed police investigation over to HRP

The RCMP have said the doctor is now retired. 

RCMP Cpl. Lisa Croteau said her force started the investigation, but handed it over to Halifax police. 

"This outcome is undoubtedly disappointing and frustrating for survivors," she said. 

Croteau added that the RCMP will offer support to the complainants. 

'Police know the lines'

CBC News is not naming the doctor, as he faces no charges. Many of the complainants called him "Dr. Fingers." 

Andrea Cook, a registered psychologist in Nova Scotia with knowledge of the case, said the fact that so many of the complainants were RCMP officers, or wanted to become officers, will be especially discouraging.

"It isn't easy for any person to come forward when you're dealing with sexual allegations, but when you're dealing with the police in particular, they're aware of the different lines," she said. "They're saying that maybe the lines were a little blurred in this. Police know the lines; they're trained in the lines."

A similar case in Toronto led police in February to say there were no grounds to lay criminal charges, based on medical standards at the time. A Toronto Police Service spokesperson said the women "felt violated," but that police found no evidence the touching had "a sexual purpose."

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