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Former UBC professor facing voyeurism charges

A pedestrian and two women sitting on a bench talking are reflected in the windows of the Pharmaceutical Sciences Building at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday July 9, 2014.

DARRYL DYCK/The Globe and Mail

An associate professor of kinesiology who was at the University of British Columbia for a decade has been charged after he allegedly filmed study participants getting changed on campus.

Sergeant Drew Grainger, an RCMP spokesman, said officers were called to the university in April – although the incident only surfaced publicly this week.

"We were advised to a complaint from the UBC School of Kinesiology that there were allegations that an associate professor there at the time may have been recording persons getting changed in a makeshift change room," he said in an interview. "Our officers attended and quickly established that charges could be possible."

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Sgt. Grainger said the Crown has approved a charge of voyeurism against James Rupert. The single count was laid in June.

The police spokesman would not say if students participated in the study. He said it was a staff member who called the RCMP and that police found cameras at the scene.

The university, in a written statement, said the charge is "of serious concern to our community."

"The safety of our students, staff and faculty is a top priority for UBC and we take immediate action when any serious allegation is made. Where appropriate, we alert police and we cooperate with their investigations. Our policies also allow us to ban perpetrators from our campuses and to prohibit them from contacting members of our community. The university also makes sure anyone who has been affected by an alleged wrongdoing gets the support they need," the statement read.

Mr. Rupert joined the UBC faculty in July, 2004. The university said his last day was June 30 – six days after the charge was sworn.

UBC said it will not be commenting further until the court case is resolved.

The allegation against Mr. Rupert has not been proven. He is due back in court next month.

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Mr. Rupert's work drew attention last year, when he developed a DNA test to measure blood doping in athletes. He said at the time that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency had funded the research.

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