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U of C, campus community react to convicted sexual offender’s postponed sentence

By Tina Shaygan, January 9 2018 —

The University of Calgary has provided a statement in response to news that convicted sexual offender Connor Neurauter had his 90-day sentencing delayed in order to allow him to finish his winter semester at the school.

“We recently became aware that University of Calgary student Connor Neurauter was convicted in British Columbia and given a three-month sentence. The judge made the decision to allow him to complete his current semester at the University of Calgary, before beginning to serve his sentence in May,” the statement read. “The university is reviewing the situation. We can confirm that Mr. Neurauter is not on the university campus this week. We will provide further information when it is available.”

The U of C declined an interview.

The Gauntlet reported Jan. 8 that Neurauter was convicted of sexual interference on Jan. 4 after two years of delayed court hearings. The victim, who was 13 at the time, said in a victim statement that Neurauter choked her with his hands and asked her for nude photographs, which he later threatened to use in order to keep their relationship a secret, according to Vice. Initially, Neurauter’s charges also included a count of child pornography. According to Canada’s Criminal Code, the minimum sentencing for sexual interference is 90 days, which Neurauter received.

U of C Consent Awareness and Sexual Education (CASE) club president Shelby Montgomery said the sentencing reflects an unfortunate reality.

“Victims’ experiences and well-being are often undervalued in sexual violence cases, while perpetrators of sexually violent crimes rarely experience adequate or timely consequences for their actions,” Montgomery said. “It is shameful that the legal system has compensated this perpetrator in both sentencing and serving his crimes.”

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Montgomery added that the U of C has made immense improvements regarding sexual violence over the years.

“In my experiences with CASE, I have seen that this university recognizes the importance of addressing sexual violence. The creation of the sexual violence policy, the three-year Ask First project, and the hiring of Sexual Violence Support Advocate, Carla Bertsch, reflect that.” Montgomery said. “I hope that the U of C will respond to and address this case, especially because the value of Neurauter’s education at this institution ultimately contributed to his sentence being postponed.”

The U of C Students’ Union declined an interview, instead releasing a statement attributed to the organization.

“The Students’ Union supports and believes survivors of sexual violence. We also believe that students deserve to feel safe on campus. In light of this situation, we hope that those who feel like they need to talk to someone access some of the excellent support services we have here on campus: sexual violence support advocate Carla Bertsch, the Women’s Resource Centre, the SU Q Centre, or the SU Wellness Centre. Calgary Communities Against Sexual Abuse is also a good off-campus resource,” the statement read. “We have been in touch with the University of Calgary regarding this situation and are waiting to see what action they take.”

Members of the U of C and Calgary community also took to social media to express outrage and frustration. A petition was started on Jan. 9 to expel Neurauter from the U of C.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.


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