Male student filmed women in gender-neutral bathroom. Police tried to persuade woman not to press charges: REPORT

Laurel Duggan, DCNF

A Canadian police officer reportedly discouraged a woman who was filmed in a gender-neutral bathroom from pressing charges, CBC News reported Wednesday.

Canadian police officer Ryan Routley initially supported the woman, who caught 22-year-old Sari Siyam filming her in a University of British Columbia in Okanagan campus bathroom in March 2020, but he later told her that pressing charges would negatively affect Siyam’s life and prevent him from getting a job in the future, according to CBC.

The woman, referred to as “Taylor” to protect her identity, agreed to drop the case, the CBC reported.

The voyeurism charge Siyam pleaded guilty to Friday was approved only after a second officer took over the case, according to CBC.

When asked about Routley reportedly discouraging Taylor from pressing charges, the Kelowna Royal Canadian Mounted Police told the Daily Caller News Foundation it is not commenting on internal matters related to the incident.

The spokesperson also told DCNF that the local RCMP recently started an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) committee and “officers have received enhanced training on Trauma Informed Practice and LGBTQ2S+ Awareness training as well as training with respect the sexual consent and the law and bias awareness.”

“We have been working closely with Kelowna PRIDE and the LGBTQS+ community,” the spokesperson added.

Siyam confessed to filming “five or six” other women in gender-neutral restrooms of UBC in a police interview, CBC reported. Taylor told the outlet Routley knew about the other women but didn’t say when charges would be discussed. 

The university labels its gender-neutral bathrooms with a handicap symbol and a toilet symbol rather than male and female symbols (handicap restrooms are marked with a handicap symbol but no toilet symbol).

UBC describes its “inclusive washrooms” as a facility “that anyone can use, regardless of their gender identity or presentation,” and promoted them with an illustration of the bathrooms filled with men and women, a child and two disabled people.

The stall doors go down to the floor in the illustration, but in photos shared by the UBC there is a gap of about one foot between the floor and the bottom of the stall door.

UBC Okanagan did not respond to DCNF’s request for comment.

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