Toronto police officer Constable Michael Sanguinetti issued a letter of apology to York University Osgoode Hall Law School's staff and students over comments he made about women dressing up like "sluts."
During a sexual assault seminar at Toronto’s York University, Constable Michael Sanguinetti told students that women could avoid being sexual assaulted if they would stop dressing like “sluts,” according to the Globe and Mail.
“You know, I think we’re beating around the bush here,” said Sanguinetti. “I’ve been told I’m not supposed to say this, however, women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized.”
Following his remarks, Sanguinetti wrote a letter of apology to the school and said that he is “embarrassed” by his comments, which were “poorly thought out and did not reflect the commitment of the Toronto Police Services to victims of sexual assaults.”
He added that he realizes that sexual assaults, and similar crimes, can have a “traumatizing effect” on both the victims and their families. “My comment was hurtful in this respect.”
The Toronto Star reports that Sanguinetti was out on patrol on Thursday evening, but was unavailable for comment. The Toronto Sun reports that the officer has been disciplined, but it is unknown what sort of punishment he will receive.
Constable Wendy Drummond said the comments were made on Jan. 24 and the police immediately looked into the professional standards unit, reports CTV News. “The comments are not something that is condoned by the (Toronto Police) service and we treat the allegations very seriously.”
Toronto Police Services spokesperson Meaghan Ray says that they do not provide should-nots to avoid sexual assault, but rather provide a detailed list of the time and place of sexual assaults so women can adjust their behaviour.
Although this story has made front-page news in several mainstream newspapers in the city, York University’s campus newspaper the Excalibur was the first to break this story on Wednesday.