Student guilty of sexual interference would be escorted off campus: university

Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast rewritten or redistributed

Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast rewritten or redistributed

Connor Neurauter, 21, was sentenced to 90 days behind bars after pleading guilty to sexual interference of a person under 16, during a court appearance in Kamloops on January 4.

As a condition of the plea deal offered by the prosecutor, Neurauter was told he would be allowed to commence his 90-day sentence on May 4, once the semester was completed.

More than 50,000 people have signed an online petition calling on the university to expel Neurauter.

In a statement posted to the U of Calgary website, Provost and Vice-President Dru Marshall notes the offence took place before Neurauter was a student at the university, and the school's disciplinary policies "do not apply to activity that occurred before the person was a member" of the campus community.

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.

According to CBC, the university said it is reviewing Neurauter's status.

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"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".

Few facts about the case are known because of a publication ban imposed by B.C. courts, but the 21-year-old student was handed a three-month jail sentence and two-years' probation.

As for any threats provoked by the controversy, Marshall said, "there have been discussions on social media, but there have been no direct threats the university has seen".

Neurauter's mother told CTV Calgary she's concerned for her son's safety as he awaits his sentence.

The U of C's vow to keep Neurauter off campus for now and to seek wider policies on sex abuse and universities is encouraging, said Kaitlyn Casswell, the person behind the petition.

"On the contrary, we aspire to be leaders in creating a safe and inclusive learning environment that helps advance all of our students and improve society as a whole".

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His mother, Susan Neurauter, said the university asked him to stay off campus, in part for his own safety. "By allowing him to go on with his life normally, finishing up his semester at university, it sends the wrong message to victims of sexual violence", Casswell told the CBC.

In a country with a reporting rate of six per cent when it comes to sex crimes, stories like Neurauter's may discourage more from coming forward, she said.

She said 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.

Marshall also says that other incidents at schools across Canada have emphasized the importance of such policies. He didn't rape anyone. She said there have been many cases where a perpetrator's athletic or academic prospects have factored too heavily into their punishment.

"He made some very, very poor choices".

"We're now working with Connor to discuss how he might do that", said Marshall.

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