A preliminary hearing has been set for December regarding three McGill University football players charged with sexual assault with a weapon, and forcible confinement, of a former Concordia University student in September 2011.
Brenden Carriere, Ian Sheriff and Guillaume Tremblay were arrested April 26, 2012 in connection with the alleged incident on Sept. 9, 2011.
The night of the alleged attack, a female Concordia student and her friend went to a bar where they met two of the three accused men. After going back to the players’ apartment, they were allegedly joined by the third football player.
The Concordia student woke up 6 hours later with memory loss. As her memory returned in the following days, she went to the police, and the victim’s family reported the incident to The Gazette.
McGill’s deputy provost of student life and learning, Ollivier Dyens, told The Gazette that McGill only learned about the charges in May.
“It didn’t happen on the McGill campus and she wasn’t a McGill student, so there was no way for us to know about it.”
However, The Gazette claims it did contact McGill in the weeks following the attack in September 2011 regarding the incident. The university’s football coach at the time was also informed after the students were arrested in 2012.
Dyens further informed The Gazette that McGill will wait for the results of the trial before deciding whether students should be charged under the student’s code of conduct. However, by the time the trial is over, the players will likely have graduated.
The Sexual Assault Center of the McGill Students’ Society (SACOMSS) issued a statement on Wednesday regarding The Gazette article written Nov. 1, 2013.
“We, the Sexual Assault Centre of the McGill Students’ Society, denounce the McGill administration’s efforts to distance itself from this case and from rape culture at McGill in general.”
It’s not the first time the McGill football team has dealt with sexual assault complaints. In October 2005, an 18-year-old rookie player said he was sexually assaulted with a broomstick by another student, while onlookers cheered him on.
McGill found that the hazing incident of 2011 involved, “nudity, degrading positions and behaviours, gagging, touching in inappropriate manners with a broomstick, as well as verbal and physical intimidation of rookies by a large portion of the team.”
Dyens said the case in 2005 was different from the current case because the university had proof of the incident.
SACOMSS said in its statement that, “McGill appears to act only when its reputation is at stake,” and went on to say that, “[The 2005 hazing incident] stands in sharp contrast to McGill’s current response.”
“Through our work, it has become increasingly apparent that McGill fails to address sexual assault in any meaningful way. In fact, McGill has no sexual assault policy.”
Concordia’s Sexual Assault Centre declined to comment and The Centre for Gender Advocacy could not be reached for comment.
“This case is before the courts so it would be inappropriate for us to comment,”said Concordia’s media relations director, Chris Mota.
The preliminary hearing, which is a process to determine if there is enough evidence to send the case to trial, is scheduled to last two days.