TORONTO – Police say they are investigating after a woman alleged that a Toronto photographer and comedian publicly posted nude photos of her online without her consent.
Const. Victor Kwong says the woman, who cannot be identified, told police she had shared the photos with Ren Bostelaar privately and did not want them posted publicly.
Bostelaar’s lawyer, Sam Goldstein, says he is unaware of any police investigation and noted that no charges have been laid against his client.
But he says Bostelaar has apologized to several women whose photos he reposted online from sites such as Tumblr and Reddit without their knowledge.
Goldstein says his client is “deeply and profoundly regretful” for his actions.
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Allegations from several women emerged on social media late last week, prompting Bostelaar to post an apology on his Facebook profile, which he has since deleted.
In the post, he admitted to participating in discussions on the online forum 4chan that “included photos of women and their names.”
“In some cases, that has included sensitive photos taken from other places, like Tumblr and Reddit, where they weren’t meant to be seen beyond the person’s chosen audience,” he wrote.
He also denied sharing any images sent directly to him without consent.
His lawyer also said Bostelaar did not “deliberately disseminate the private details of certain women on the Internet with malicious intent.”
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Goldstein added that Bostelaar is open to meeting with the women whose photos he reposted and apologizing to them in person.
Bostelaar is one of the people behind the popular Twitter comedy account Stats Canada, which has more than 600,000 followers. The account posted a statement Sunday expressing shock over the allegations that had surfaced on social media.
“This kind of behaviour is completely inexcusable and does not reflect the values of Stats Canada. Our thoughts are with anyone this may have affected,” it said.
Bostelaar was also involved in the blog BikeRackTO, which posted its own statement denouncing his alleged actions Sunday.