The alleged victim of a possible sexual assault involving multiple male hockey players at the University of Ottawa is co-operating with police investigating the incident.
The university announced on Monday it has suspended the entire men’s hockey team indefinitely. Police are investigating allegations that some players may have assaulted a single victim during a road trip to Thunder Bay, Ont., for a pair of games against Lakehead University on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1. Senior managers at the U of O only learned of the alleged incident on Feb. 24 from “a third party,” according to school spokespeople.
No one has been charged. But the accusation has sparked concerns about a perceived “rape culture” that some student leaders say is widespread on university campuses. The university has launched its own investigation and president Allan Rock is expected to meet with student leaders this week.
The alleged incident took place off campus, said Chris Adams, executive officer for the Thunder Bay Police Service, and Lakehead Thunderwolves men’s hockey team was not involved.
Trevor Gamache, an assistant captain on the Lakehead squad, said in an e-mail that the allegations against Ottawa players “caught us all off guard” when published by media.
The “third party” who approached the U of O “knew of the alleged incident” but “was not directly involved,” said university spokesperson Caroline Milliard. She would not say when the hockey team’s coaching staff, who are also suspended until further notice, learned of the alleged incident. But she reiterated an earlier statement that senior managers at are “deeply concerned” were not informed sooner, and said that will be part of the school’s investigation.