University of Calgary not reviewing sexual violence policy despite Connor Neurauter controversy

Share

Connor Neurauter, 21, a junior hockey player at the University of Calgary, pleaded guilty in 2017 to sexual interference of a young girl when he was 18 years old.

But what's even more shocking is the fact that the University of Calgary has failed to expel Neurauter, despite the fact he is a convicted sexual assailant.

Many who signed the petition gave the reason that expulsion would show that U of C sides with victims, or that it takes students' safety seriously, but Marshall wrote that failing to do so is not proof that Neurauter's rights are being prioritized.

The university said in a statement this week that it is "reviewing the situation", but did not respond to questions from BuzzFeed Canada about what, if any, consequences Neurauter could face.

The university's stance on his returning to campus in the fall is undecided, said Marshall, adding the man is "considering his options" on whether to switch universities.

He was sentenced to 90 days in jail but was allowed to finish his second-year courses this semester before checking into a regional correctional facility in Kamloops.

He served the first day of punishment on January 4 but then the judge delayed his sentence to May 4 so that the sexual predator could finish his semester.

Kaitlyn Casswell, the woman behind the petition, said she was disappointed at the University of Calgary.

The girl said that at one point, he choked her before giving her a bra as a present.

The girl's identity is under a publication ban.

Kaitlyn Casswell
Kaitlyn Casswell started a petition to have Connor Neurauter expelled from the University of Calgary

"There were a number of safety concerns that we took into account in our decision", she said Friday."We know that victims of sexual violence ... may have been triggered by this incident and we were also anxious about his safety, given some of the commentary on social media".

On Thursday evening, the University released a statement saying that there are no grounds to expel Neurauter because the incident took place before he was enrolled as a student.

She says her son has been threatened online and she's heard students are demanding class lists to find out where he's going to be on campus. His choice was meant to minimize the impact on the victim.

She called for the episode, and others involving sexual harassment or abuse recently confronting other Canadian universities, to open a dialogue to hammer out a nationwide policy on the matter for post-secondary schools.

"It discourages victims from coming forward as perpetrators are accommodated and their actions are excused for the sake of not impeding their 'potential'".

The university said Tuesday that Neurauter was not on campus this week while it reviewed the situation.

Neurauter's parents, Chris and Susan Neurauter, issued a statement to CBC News expressing support for their son and concern over how the media have covered the story.

"It is important and significant exactly what kind of offence is involved and whether there is a significant risk to any other students".

Marshall was asked whether the school is aware of any direct threats against Neurauter.

"It's about providing justice to all concerned in this very hard situation".

Share