Last edited: December 18, 2004

Cops ‘Gawked,’ Jury Told

Toronto Sun, June 11, 2002
Sun Media Corporation, 333 King St. E., Toronto, Ontario M5A 3X5

By Gretchen Drummie, Courts Bureau

Female patrons at Pussy Palace 2000 felt "violated" when male police officers raided the lesbian bathhouse in what an organizer testified yesterday was an "opportunity to gawk at us."

"We were being ogled by men at a women’s bathhouse," event organizer Janet Rowe said. She noted that straight men often find lesbian activities "titillating."

Seven Toronto officers are suing Councillor Kyle Rae for defamation, claiming they suffered damages when he called them "cowboys" and "rogues" on a "panty raid" in the September 2000 raid.

Rowe told jurors she was "really afraid for the women who were there" and felt violated by the intrusion of five male officers for a liquor licence inspection when "most of us were partially clothed ... an opportunity to gawk at us. I felt very unsafe."

She agreed with Rae’s description of the officers.

Sabrina Orlander testified that one of the cops didn’t take his eyes off her topless friend for "what seemed like forever."

"He was mostly staring at (the friend) because she is a bigger woman, has larger breasts than I do," she said.

Barbara Latimer testified the men were "condescending" and "making comments we felt were derogatory like, ‘Hey, did you get a look at that,’ and ‘See those?’"

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