July 3, 2018 11:05 pm
Updated: July 12, 2018 11:24 am

Class action lawsuit moving ahead against the Royal Winnipeg Ballet

Dancers rehearse at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet.

Global News File
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A lawsuit is moving forward as a class proceeding in the Ontario Superior Court against the Royal Winnipeg Ballet over photos taken by Bruce Monk.

Monk is alleged to have taken nude photos of teen students from the 1980s to 2013 while working at the RWB as an instructor and photographer.

He was fired in 2015 after police confirmed they were investigating a series of complaints.

Monk has adamently denied the allegations, none of which have been proven in court.

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No charges were ever filed.

READ MORE: Former RWB dancer, instructor fired after nude photo allegations

Lawyer Margaret Waddell has taken on the case and said that she doesn’t know the exact dollar figure that will emerge or how many people will be a part of the class action lawsuit.

“We’ll probably have a better sense of that once the notice goes out,” Waddell said. “We’ve had a number of people contact us and had identified 55 people at the time of certification, but since the notice came out last week, we’ve had another six come forward. We expect them to keep rolling in.”

Sarah Doucet, a former student of Monk’s, launched the class action lawsuit after alleging Monk took topless photos of her without her consent when she was 16 or 17.

“Now the action will be going ahead on behalf of all the students that were at the school between 1984 and 2015, the time when Mr. Monk was employed by the Royal Winnipeg Ballet.”

READ MORE: Ballet production tells story of residential schools in across-Canada tour

The Royal Winnipeg Ballet sent this statement to Global News regarding the latest news in this story.

“We cannot comment on the specific details of the legal process or June 27th’s procedural motion.

Our primary focus is the safety, security and well-being of every student entrusted to our care; It is a responsibility that we take very seriously, and we assess and evaluate our processes and procedures on an ongoing basis.

We can share with you that our Child Protection Policies and Procedures Manual was developed in keeping with guidelines from the Canadian Centre for Child Protection. All staff working with our students are trained on our policy and supporting procedures.”

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