Toronto police seek suspect after alleged sexual assault at York University
Toronto police are searching for a suspect after an alleged sexual assault took place on York University's Keeled campus, located in the northwest end of the city.
According to a police statement, an 18-year-old woman reported that she was at a Frosh Week event around 1 a.m. Friday at York’s Strong Residence, when a man approached her from behind and sexually assaulted her.
The man began to dance with the woman and then proceeded to touch her in an "inappropriate manner," the university said in a statement posted to its website.
Police said the woman was disturbed by the incident but not injured.
Students at York University were notified of the incident via a security bulletin, which describes the suspect wearing “black-zip hoodie, hat underneath with a brim, mirror black sunglasses.”
Police say the suspect is described as being between 18 and 20 years old, between five feet two inches and five feet seven inches in height, with a medium build and weighing around 150 to 160 pounds. He has a tanned complexion and a piercing on the right side of his bottom lip.
News of the alleged sexual assault has many students scared.
"I might just have to get a pepper spray," Alyssa Haffejee, who lives on the York University campus, told CTV Toronto. "It’s so scary. I don’t even want to walk by myself here at night."
Safety and security has been a concern at the university, which is located in around 20 kilometres north of downtown Toronto. In July 2012, a man was arrested in connection with a number of sexual assaults that took place on the university campus.
The assault comes a day after the student union president of Saint Mary’s University in Halifax apologized for a video that showed student leaders chanting about underage, non-consensual sex during a Frosh Week event there. Jared Perry said the controversial cheer has been a part of the school’s frosh week tradition for years.
According to the 2009 Statistics Canada General Social Survey, 70 per cent of the self-reported sexual assaults were against women and nearly half of all self-reported sexual assaults were against young people between the ages of 15 to 24.
According to Statistics Canada only six per cent of sexual assaults are reported to police.
Anyone with any information about the incident is asked to contact police at 416-808-2222 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS.
With a report from CTV Toronto’s Austin Delaney