NEWS

UBC campus sex assaults update coming from RCMP

10/29/2013 12:09 EDT | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST
RCMP and the University of British Columbia are holding a joint press conference to provide an update on the investigation into a series of sexual assaults and attempted sexual assaults that have taken place on campus.

Lower Mainland District RCMP spokesman Sgt. Peter Thiessen said he will provide the update at noon Tuesday on campus.

Over a three-week period beginning in late September, three women reported sexually-motivated attacks by a stranger, perhaps the same man, who was described as a tall, white man wearing a dark-coloured hoodie.

In all three incidents, the women were walking alone at night and were approached by a man who grabbed them from behind and tried to grope them under their skirts. 

In the latest incident on Oct. 19, a 17-year-old student escaped with a bruised eye and ripped clothing after a man attempted to drag her into a nearby wooden area.

University officials and the RCMP have responded swiftly. UBC amped up its Safewalk program, ensured all campus emergency phones work and handed out safety whistles to students — all while ensuring those on campus are informed about the assaults by holding meetings in residences and posting information online.

Police warned the campus community about two other nighttime groping incidents in April and May 2012, when a male suspect reached up under the skirts of a 20-year-old woman and a 36-year-old woman, grabbed their buttocks and then ran off.

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