Criminal charges against a former Belleville orthodontist have been withdrawn, following his death, but some details about the alleged incidents came out in court on Wednesday.
Crown Attorney Lee Burgess told a courtroom full of victims that Dr. Garry Solomon would routinely video tape patients’ mouths with a handheld camera, but in the cases of at least 337 girls and women, Solomon focused his camera on other parts of their body, including their chest, crotch area and buttocks.
The oldest of the camcorder videos dates back to 1999 and investigators say the instances became more frequent through the early 2000s, up to 2014.
Following Solomon’s arrest earlier this year, seven women also reported incidents of inappropriate touching, or instances of Solomon brushing his crotch against their faces, between 1986 and 2014, when they were all under 18 years old.
Since the charge of voyeurism wasn’t enacted until 2005, some of the alleged incidents predate the offence.
Police and the Crown both say that there is no information leading them to believe any of the videos had been copied or shared and that all of the suspected videos are in the possession of the investigation team.
Belleville Police Inspector Chris Barry told reporters, even though the charges were withdrawn, police work on the case is not over.
Once investigators are done with them, the videos will be forfeited to the Crown for disposal and any other property seized by police during the investigation will be returned to Solomon’s family.
Inspector Barry also noted the breach of trust faced by the whole community and had advice for some parents moving forward.
Anyone who is concerned they may have been a victim in the case can still call the Belleville Police Administration number at 613-966-0882 and speak to Detective Constable Darrell Hatfield and a civil class action lawsuit is still in the works as well.
Defence Attorney Matthew Friedberg told the courtroom that Solomon denied all of the allegations and if he had lived, would have “vigorously defended himself”.
Friedberg also says the Crown had refused to disclose the 71 tapes that had been seized and argued that the number of alleged victims should have been much lower.
Burgess did note that since the charges were withdrawn, none of the allegations have been proven and should not been seen as a determination of guilt.