By Tina Shaygan, January 8 2018 —
Convicted sexual offender Connor Neurauter will not begin serving his jail sentence until this May so that he doesn’t miss his classes at the University of Calgary, where he is currently enrolled, Vice reported today.
Neurauter was sentenced to 90 days in jail after pleading guilty to sexual interference on Jan. 4. When charges were first brought forward in 2016, he also faced a child pornography charge. The mother of the 13-year-old victim said sentencing took over two years in order to “accommodate Neurauter’s busy schedule,” as he missed court dates while playing for his junior hockey team, according to the Calgary Sun.
“Let’s postpone his jail sentence until May so he can finish his year of university. Nobody has stood up and said no, during the whole thing — there was not one time where the judge or even the Crown said ‘please, this is not right.’ The victims are the ones who have been paying over and over, every time we went to court,” the mother of the victim said.
According to the Vancouver Sun, Neurauter met the victim when he was 18. Under Canadian law, the minimum age of consent to sexual activity is 16.
The girl, whose name is protected under a court-ordered publication ban, said in a victim statement that Neurauter physically choked her with his hands and asked for nude photographs. She added that he threatened to expose those photographs in order to keep the relationship a secret.
U of C’s Non-Academic Misconduct policy does not identify a process for cases like this. The school’s sexual violence policy, which was put in effect June 1, 2017, states that “the University’s policies, administrative processes and discipline systems are independent of the civil and criminal justice legal systems. University Community members alleged to have perpetrated Sexual Violence may be subject to the University’s administrative processes and discipline systems in addition to the civil or criminal legal system.”
Neurauter was also ordered to surrender a sample of his DNA to a national criminal database and must register as a sex offender for 10 years. He will begin his sentence on May 4 at Kamloops Regional Correctional Centre.
Neurauter’s social media use demonstrates a pattern of misogyny and racism. On Ask.fm, a platform which allows users to anonymously ask each other questions, Neurauter responds to a question that refers to black people as a racial slur by saying they are a “waste of skin.” On Twitter, he retweets posts referring to women as “sluts” and posts about “great tits” at hockey games.
The U of C was unable to provide comment by press time.
Not the first instance in Canada
Neurauter is the latest in a list of convicted sexual offenders to have jail sentences postponed to accommodate their other obligations.
In 2017, Chance A. Macdonald pleaded guilty in Kingston’s Ontario Court of Justice to a single count of common assault committed against a 16-year-old girl in the fall of 2015. MacDonald was sentenced to 88 days of intermittent jail on weekends plus double credit on the one day he’d previously spent in custody at the time of his arrest.
MacDonald’s sentencing was postponed for four months in order for him to complete his internship at Deloitte as Justice Allan Letourneau referenced his own past as a hockey player.
“I played extremely high-end hockey and I know the mob mentality that can exist in that atmosphere,” Letourneau said, according to the Toronto Star. “I’m sure you disappointed not only a lot of people including your parents, but yourself. Not everyone has the talents that you have, and you have them.”
Earlier this year, University of Ottawa law students expressed concerns as Charles Barrons, who pleaded to assault in place of sexual assault, began his studies at the school. Barrons, a Dalhousie student, has charges of assault, sexual assault, breaking and entering, and uttering threats stemming from an incident where he broke into his ex-girlfriend’s house in September 2014.
According to Vice, Barrons broke into his ex-girlfriend’s house at 1 a.m. after he saw her with a man at a bar in Halifax. Barrons broke in, calling his ex-girlfriend a “fucking whore” and asking, “Did you fuck him?” Barrons was also alleged to have hit his ex-girlfriend and penetrated her with his fingers after shoving his hands in her underwear.
At the U of C, students who have experienced sexual violence can contact sexual violence support advocate Carla Bertsch. The Consent Awareness and Sexual Education club, the Women’s Resource Centre, the Q Centre and the Wellness Centre are also available as resources for those who may have experienced sexual violence.
Read our follow-up story here.