Halifax, Nova Scotia – The retired doctor accused of sexually assaulting as many as 140 Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officers and recruits over a 23-year period will not be charged in connection with the allegations against him.
The Halifax Regional Police (HRP) said they investigated more than 140 instances of alleged sexual assault during their 14-month investigation into retired physician Donald MacLeod Campbell, Global News reported.
Many of the alleged incidents took place at the agency’s health services office in Bedford, Nova Scotia.
Campbell, who worked for RCMP from 1981 until 2003, has denied allegations that he conducted unwarranted breast, rectal, and gynecological exams on recruits and officers.
“I was shocked,” one alleged victim said of the exam she underwent over four decades ago.
She said she was an RCMP applicant at the time, and that she had just graduated from high school.
“I know what he did,” she told Global News. “He did an internal examination that was very invasive…At the time, I felt like they were unnecessary.”
But the alleged victim said she tried to convince herself that she was just being too sensitive about what had occurred, and kept quiet about the exam until she heard that there was an investigation into an RCMP physician.
The woman said that she does not remember the identity of the doctor who performed her exam.
Campbell said he did nothing outside of routine medical assessments.
The RCMP refused to disclose what types of examinations were considered to be routine prior to 2007, when “rectal examination as well as breast and gynecological/PAP test examinations” were specifically no longer “regularly performed as part of the RCMP regular member applicant health assessment,” RCMP spokesperson Sergeant Marie Damian told Global News.
HRP arrested Campbell in March, but later released him after questioning.
On Tuesday, HRP announced that the “evidence did not support the laying of charges,” Global News reported.
“We recognize the difficulty of sharing very personal experiences with investigators and we thank the complainants for their patience and co-operation,” the HRP said.
The agency noted that it will not provide any further details regarding the investigation.
“This outcome is undoubtedly disappointing and frustrating for survivors and our role, as an organization, as leaders and as colleagues, is to offer support while respecting privacy and confidentiality,” Halifax District RCMP spokesperson Corporal Lisa Croteau said.
Cpl. Croteau said that the agency has taken “various steps…to ensure survivors, both those who have come forward and those who have not, are aware of services and supports available to them through the RCMP.”