The disciplinary prosecution he’s facing is “unprecedented and unfair” according to Ryan Millet.
The former member of the Class of DDS 2015 Gentlemen Facebook group which dominated the news earlier this year is asking for his suspension to be expunged and his reputation cleared. Meanwhile, his 12 former group members returned this week to clinical practice.
Millet, who first brought the offensive online material to the attention of his female classmates, remains the only fourth-year student still suspended.
A release issued this afternoon by Millet’s lawyer Bruce MacIntosh says Millet only learned the 12 other suspensions for his fellow classmates had been lifted through yesterday's media reports.
Yesterday, a lengthy update from Dalhousie president Richard Florizone appeared online stating the men involved in the sexually violent Facebook group have “expressed remorse, taken ownership of what they have done, and recognized that they have harmed a broad range of people.”
An open letter from the 29 fourth-year dentistry students participating in the restorative justice process was also posted yesterday, attempting to provide some context on the last few months.
“Our silence has been interpreted by some as cowardice,” reads the section authored by the members of the DDS Facebook group, “as if we are hiding from our responsibilities. It has been very tempting to satisfy calls for us to say we are sorry. Doing so would have made us feel better, but it would have been self-serving if not based upon the hard work necessary to gain the depth of understanding required for meaningful and sincere apology.”
Another section from those female dentistry students who chose to participate in the restorative justice process states the “media fire” about the incident has been extremely hurtful.
“Many people (some with good intentions) have spoken about us and in the process often attempted to speak for us in ways that we have experienced as harmful, silencing and re-traumatizing. Our perspective and decision to proceed through this process has often not been honoured or trusted but dismissed or criticized based on the decisions or perspectives of others. We are strong, well-educated professional women with words of our own to explain what we are going through and how we want to proceed.”
As previously reported, at least four women in the fourth-year dentistry class (some directly targeted in the Facebook posts) objected to the restorative justice process.
Today’s press release states Millet initially received support and encouragement from many of his classmates for bringing forward the closed group’s posts. But he now feels there is an “underlying attitude amongst some within the Dalhousie community that he is partially to blame for the resulting adverse publicity and reputational harm that has accompanied Dalhousie’s treatment of this Facebook investigation.”
His lawyers argue the “prosecuting officer” at Dalhousie’s academic standards committee hearing testified Millet should have not shown the material to fellow classmates. Any concerns should have been directed instead to administrators.
“The prosecuting officer has testified that Ryan may have done the right thing by taking issue with the hateful polls, but did the wrong thing by allowing the targeted victim access to his Facebook pages,” today’s release reads. “Ryan has taken strong objection to that assertion. He maintains he did the right thing in supporting the wishes of the victim. He says that the subsequent public circulation of the Facebook pages, by a party unknown, was a matter beyond his control or knowledge.”
The release (which you can read below) claims the hearing included unsolicited testimonials from Millet’s former patients speaking to his professionalism as well as evidence from one of the targeted female victims that Millet’s suspension should be lifted.
According to his lawyers, a ruling from the standards committee on Ryan Millet’s future will be made as early as this week.