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Police warn of voyeurism at U of T residence, say suspect filmed or photographed students in shower

Police are warning of a string of voyeurism acts at a University of Toronto residence in which someone appeared to film or photograph female students in the shower.

In a news release on Friday, Toronto police said the incidents happened between January and March of this year inside an all-female washroom at the Wilson Hall Residence at New College on Willcocks Street near Spadina Avenue.

In each case, police said female students were changing and using the shower, when they noticed a cell phone being held over the shower curtain. The person appeared to capture images of the women and fled, police said.

Police said they don’t have an image of the suspect. They believe there may be more victims.

“Police are asking the public to be aware, remain vigilant, and report any suspicious activity,” police said in the release.

‘Voyeurism is sexual violence,’ interim principal says

In a statement on Friday, Prof. Dickson Eyoh, interim principal of New College, said one such incident at Wilson Hall was reported on Tuesday.

Eyoh said an “unknown individual” held a cellphone over a shower stall in the women’s washroom on the residence’s fourth floor early in the morning. Campus Safety, a special constable service, is investigating, in addition to the police.

“Voyeurism is sexual violence, treated with the utmost seriousness and urgency by New College and Campus Safety,” Eyoh said in the statement.

Campus Safety officers and residence staff went door-to-door to inform residents on the “directly impacted floors” and to provide support, he said. Officials also posted a Campus Safety community alert in all residence elevators and on all washroom doors and sent an email with the alert and information about safety measures to all New College residents.

The college has round-the-clock security patrolling residence floors, which require a key to access, he added.

Residence installs more security cameras

Officials have also installed additional security camera and signs that say public areas are being monitored.

In the residence itself, in individual shower stalls that have a glass partition separating the shower and change area, shower curtains have been installed to provide floor-to-ceiling privacy at the entrance to the shower, he said.

“Though curtains are generally used to block water, these are specifically for privacy and we are encouraging students to use them,” Eyoh said.

The school has also ordered fob locks for all residence washrooms.

 

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