NEWS

Playboy photos spark human rights complaint

03/14/2012 02:12 EDT | Updated 05/14/2012 05:12 EDT

Images of naked Playboy models included in a fire safety presentation have landed an instructor and forestry worker in mediation, according to documents filed with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal.

Lindsay Pitcher alleges she was sexually harassed by instructor Trevor Bergstrom during a fire safety course in Squamish in 2009 when he showed the pornographic images at the end of his presentation for forestry workers.

The 35 men in the audience apparently didn't object, but Pitcher, the one and only woman, did.

In her complaint, Pitcher says she was shocked, embarrassed and humiliated, and comments from the men in the crowd that she should have "thicker skin" didn't help.

Documents from the tribunal indicate Bergstom thought the 10 slides of naked Playboy models might help his audience "relax."

Bergstrom has defended himself saying there was no sexual harassment and that Pitcher was warned in advance about the racy slides.

He also said that as far as pornography goes, the images were pretty mild, and not of a "triple-X level".

The Human Rights Tribunal hasn't made a final decision on the merits of each argument, but has called for a mediator to resolve the dispute.

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