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Canada Facebook boast of sexual assault sparks outrage, investigation at Ontario college


There's outrage at Humber College over a post on Facebook page called "Humber Epic Hookup Fails" that describes an apparent sexual assault.

In the post, an anonymous male describes how he met a "girl" at the end of the night, brought her home when "she could barely walk" and was "stumbling all over the driveway."

He had sex with her while she was intoxicated, comparing her state to that of starfish. The poster writes that when his roommate came home and saw the two of them having sex, he told the roommate to "hop right in." His friend then received oral sex from the young woman.

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"No verbal consent was needed," he wrote.

The posting says that the young woman threw up and the poster's roommate kicked her out, leaving her naked on the driveway.

Humber student Shealagh Palangio and her friend Caitlin Comeau-Jarvis received a friend request from the page on Thursday. After reading the offending post, they reported the page to the school and police.

"Some of [the posts] were not too bad but the one post in particular condoned rape culture," Ms. Palangio said. "And it was really insulting and not funny at all, so we felt the need to report that."

Ms. Palangio said Ms. Comeau-Jarvis also complained to the page's anonymous moderator, who posts students' stories anonymously after receiving them through private message. She did not receive a reply and then reported it to Facebook. The social media site originally said the page didn't contravene its publishing criteria.

However, Facebook removed the page after being contacted by Humber College officials and Toronto police, according to John Mason, Humber's vice-president of student and corporate services.

Mr. Mason said there have been five official complaints from staff and students regarding the Facebook page.

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"Each person has also been very quick to point out that the activity was not representative of the student body of Humber at large, that it was offensive to our value system," Mr. Mason said.

"The event described describes a non-consensual, criminal act and is completely inappropriate to the Humber community."

Humber College is working with police to determine the identity of the poster and whether the story is true or not.

Mr. Mason said that the Toronto police need more information before they can launch a full investigation and that Humber College is trying to find students with more information.

The school's department of public safety and the student success department are trying to encourage the young woman in this situation to come forward so that they can provide support and find out more information.

"Students have pride in their school and they do not support or condone this kind of behaviour and of course we want to bring it to a closure," Mr. Mason said.

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Students at other universities and colleges have set up similar Facebook pages, where students are encouraged to share embarrassing stories for others to comment on or "like."

"Yeah, the description on the group says, 'We've all had crazy stories and let's have a laugh,' or something like that," Ms. Palangio said. "But obviously it's not really having a laugh, it's more than that."

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