Charges recommended in alleged assaults

UVic student may face charges in alleged sexual assaults involving four classmates

  • Mar. 4, 2016 3:00 p.m.

Jacob Zinn

Black Press

A University of Victoria student has been arrested and may face charges stemming from several alleged sexual assaults against four fellow classmates.

According to Saanich Police, four female students came forward in mid-February and reported being sexually assaulted by the male, with incidents ranging from the beginning of the school year to last month.

Five counts of sexual assault have been recommended against the male student and have been submitted to Crown for approval, said acting Sgt. Jereme Leslie.

“After speaking to all of the women and witnesses, our investigators are confident that they’ve spoken with all the parties involved,” Leslie said. “Saanich police have investigated the reports and have recommended five counts of sexual assault, and the accused is going to appear in court in early April.”

Leslie said the victims and the accused are all between the ages of 19 and 20, and that the male student is not known to police.

The university released a statement Feb. 29, noting the university acted immediately to assist the four students in filing a police report and offered them health and counselling services. The statement also said the male student has been banned from campus.

“We can confirm that related to this incident, the university has removed a male student from our campus community,” reads the statement. “The individual is not permitted on university property.”

In the past few months, the university has experienced two high-profile sexual assaults. In September, a woman was attacked by a group of males before an unknown person came to her aid, and in January, a man robbed two international students and assaulted at least one of them at their off-campus apartment.

Leslie said the most recent case is unrelated to the prior incidents, and noted police and the university have provided a number of safety measures to the four women who came forward. “We’re working alongside the University of Victoria in our normal fashion and we’re in constant communication with each other,” he said.