A Dalhousie engineering professor went to police after someone circulated photos of his wife and daughters and accused him of pimping his family.
The series of still images was posted briefly last week on the video-sharing website YouTube and an e-mailed link spread "very quickly" around the campus, a university spokesman said yesterday. Campus officials have rallied to the defence of the veteran professor.
"I opened it and was pretty appalled by what I saw," said Dalhousie University spokesman Charles Crosby.
"It's one thing to attack an individual. But to attack his family is pretty shocking."
The professor, who did not want his name used because of the effect publicity could have on his family, said he was aghast when he received the e-mailed link at his office computer.
In addition to the use of family photos he had thought were private, the video included text that referred repeatedly to his Muslim faith and origin in the Middle East.
"This is a hate crime, it's defamation," he said in a telephone interview. "It's a criminal act, but what kind of criminal act [remains to be seen]."
Mr. Crosby, who said he received the link from an e-mail account purporting to belong to the professor, described the video he had seen as a montage of mostly innocuous photos. But these were accompanied by a soundtrack of moans and other noises suggesting fornication, he said, and there was text accusing the professor of using his family to sell sex.
There were also several more suggestive photos, the spokesman said. . .
The professor said that the photos had been manipulated by "a very sophisticated software system." How photos he thought were private ended up on YouTube is the "million-dollar question," he added. "I have no enemies. I have been rated very highly as a teacher." (MORE)