A man is in custody after a female University of Toronto student was carefully lured into a basement washroom on campus and attacked Thursday.
The intricate steps taken to draw and isolate the woman have police fearing that the attacker may not have worked alone and that there may have been earlier victims.
“We still have this puzzle to figure out,” said Detective Philip Hibbeln with the Sex Crimes Unit. “There’s unanswered questions.”
What is known is that the 19-year-old victim, in her first year, went to Emmanuel College around 4:15 p.m., where she was expecting to attend an information session for a job opportunity.
She had done her research, looking up the host organization online, and it appeared to be legitimate.
But when she arrived at the assigned room, it was empty.
Police say it was then that a man wearing a dust mask, who the victim knew from campus, exited a nearby washroom and offered help to locate the session. But he first asked for a hand with some repairs.
The victim agreed and after she walked into the room, the man locked the door behind her.
He then grabbed her and forced her to the ground. Police said he put the woman in a headlock and intended to sexually assault her when she fought back and ran for help.
“She fought him off, that’s for sure,” said Det. Hibbeln. “She’s a survivor. She said I have to get out of this and she did what she had to do.”
Muhammad Umair Jafar, 21, a third year U of T student from Brampton, faces charges including forcible confinement, sexual assault, conspiracy and disguise with intent in relation to the brazen attack.
Det. Hibbeln said he does not believe Mr. Jafar has a criminal record.
Police are now working to unravel the elaborate plot.
“We have reason to believe there could be someone else involved,” said Det. Hibbeln. “I’ll be doing some follow-up search warrants and production orders … to put the puzzle together.”