Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); }

A high-school teacher who used a pen camera to surreptitiously take videos of female students is guilty of voyeurism, the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled.

In a groundbreaking decision Thursday, the high court said the teenage students were entitled to a reasonable expectation they would not be secretly recorded by their instructor.

Teacher Ryan Jarvis was charged with voyeurism after discovery of more than two dozen videos on his pen, many of which focused on the chests and cleavage area of students at the London, Ont., school.

Story continues below advertisement

During 2010 and 2011, Mr. Jarvis made the recordings in different locations around the school, including in hallways, classrooms, the cafeteria, staff offices and outside the building.

The videos range from six seconds in length to just over 2½ minutes, often involving a conversation between Mr. Jarvis and the student. In most, the camera is on the girl’s face, but also focuses for a considerable amount of time on her chest area.

Mr. Jarvis was acquitted when the trial judge found that while the students had a reasonable expectation of privacy, it was not clear the videos were taken for a sexual purpose.

The Ontario Court of Appeal dismissed the Crown’s challenge of the ruling, although for different reasons.

A majority of the appeal court concluded the videos were taken for a sexual purpose, noting at least five featured close-up, lengthy views of cleavage from angles both straight on and from above. However, the court said the students should not have an expectation of privacy in areas of the school where they congregate or where classes are taught.

One of the appeal-court judges dissented, opening the door to a hearing before the Supreme Court to decide the privacy considerations in the case, as it was no longer in dispute that Mr. Jarvis made the recordings for a sexual reason. It marked the first time the high court had examined the Criminal Code offence of voyeurism, which took effect in 2005.

All nine judges of the high court agreed Mr. Jarvis should be found guilty. However, they provided two sets of reasons in coming to that unanimous conclusion.

Story continues below advertisement

In writing for a majority of the court, Chief Justice Richard Wagner pointed out that legislators created the new voyeurism offence due to concerns about the potential for rapidly evolving technology, such as tiny cameras, to be abused for the secret viewing or recording of people for sexual purposes, and in ways that involve a serious breach of privacy.

He noted that the students were unaware they were being recorded, and a school-board policy in effect at the time prohibited Mr. Jarvis from making such videos.

Chief Justice Wagner said a student attending class, walking down a school hallway or speaking to her teacher certainly expects she will not be singled out by the instructor and made the subject of a secretive, minutes-long recording focusing on her body.

“The explicit focus of the videos on the bodies of the students recorded, including their breasts, leaves me in no doubt that the videos were made in violation of the students’ reasonable expectations of privacy.”

Follow related topics

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies