By Shawn Jeffords ,Toronto Sun
First posted: Tuesday, December 17, 2013 05:34 PM EST | Updated: Tuesday, December 17, 2013 06:56 PM EST
TORONTO - A dentist has been charged with voyeurism after employees found a video camera hidden in an office bathroom in Pickering.
The 53-year-old Toronto man was arrested by Durham Regional Police after the camera was discovered recording on Dec. 11. No patients were seen in the footage so far, police spokesman Jodi MacLean said.
“The investigation is still ongoing and (detectives) are still trying to determine if it was ever used before that Dec. 11,” MacLean said. “There is only evidence that it was used on Dec. 11. That’s what the charge reflects.”
Police searched the office and recovered computers and video recording equipment. MacLean said she could not discuss the footage or who specifically appeared on it.
“Employees put the call in to us so then we went forward to investigate,” she said.
The Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario, which licences, regulates and insures dentists in the province, has launched its own investigation. Registrar Irwin Fefergrad said while the allegations have not been tested in court, they will be taken very seriously, adding that voyeurism is considered “predatory conduct” in their code of conduct.
“It’s all of the things that one would consider to be, if it did take place, disgraceful, dishonourable, unprofessional,” Fefergrad said. “It is very serious. Videos of people that are unsuspecting in a place where they are expecting complete privacy of their person. This is very serious.”
The dentist, despite the charge, is still entitled to continue his practice in the meantime, Fefergrad said.
“Our objective will be to move as quickly as we can and do as thorough as an investigation as possible and bring the matter to fruition.”
Fefergrad said the bail judge had the power to put conditions on his release and did not.
“There is no restriction on him going into his office or practicing,” he said. “The general principle is you need to do the investigation before you’re going to take away someone’s rights.”
If the dentist is found guilty of the offence his licence could be revoked, then he could re-apply to practice within five years, Fefergrad said.
When the Toronto Sun called the office Tuesday, a message on the office answering machine said the practice is closed while the doctor deals with a “family situation.”
Philip Jeremy Willenburg has been charged with one count of voyeurism. He did not respond to request for comment.
Anyone with information is asked to call Durham Police’s Criminal Investigations Bureau at 1-888-579-1520 ext. 2531 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
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