A Toronto police officer who claims her former partner on the force sent her a “steady barrage” of sexually explicit text messages was penalized on Tuesday for not reporting the alleged harassment earlier, the Toronto Sun reports. “This decision serves notice that sexual misconduct victims will be penalized and therefore will be reluctant to report,” argued the female officer’s lawyer, Barry Swadron.
Sgt. Jessica McInnis, 43, filed her complaint last month, and included more than 100 text messages or group chats from her former partner, Det. Mark Morris, which took place over the course of two years beginning in 2015, The Toronto Star reports. In addition to sending unsolicited texts and photos, Morris allegedly requested nude photos from McInnis and said he wanted to spend the night at her house. McInnis claims when she complained to a manager, she was instructed to “suck it up.”
Morris’ lawyer, David Butt, says the charges against his client are “either false or deliberately misleading.”
McInnis was docked eight hours pay through a unit-level disciplinary process for waiting to report the texts and images, which is the “same penalty” that Morris got “for sending her the images,” the Toronto Sun reports.
“Everyone from the Prime Minister to the Premier of this province says we should support women for having the courage to come forward,” said McInnis’ lawyer, “but McInnis is being penalized for not coming forward soon enough.”