Student guilty of sexual interference would be escorted off campus

Elias Hubbard
January 13, 2018

On Jan. 4, Neurauter pleaded guilty in Kamloops provincial court and was sentenced to 90 days in jail for a single count of sexual interference with a person under 16 in connection with a 2016 inappropriate relationship with a then-13-year-old girl.

The university has said it does not have the grounds to outright expel Neurauter because his crime took place before he was a student there.

More than 53,000 people have signed on a petition calling on the university to expel Neurauter.

"This is important, because our policies do not apply to activity that occurred before the person was a member of our campus community", the school stated.

In a conference call Friday, Marshall said the decision to "advise" Neurauter to stay off campus was made to protect him as well as students.

A Canadian sex offender is allowed to finish his spring semester at college before completing a prison sentence for sexually exploiting a 13-year-old girl.

The B.C. prosecution service says he served the first day of his sentence January 4, but the judge permitted him to serve the remainder starting May 4, after finishing his semester at the University of Calgary. The court heard he was 18 when he and the girl had a brief relationship, Kamloops This Week reported.

Ahead of the decision from U of C, an expert who works with survivors of sexual violence said the judge's decision sends a message that victims may not be taken seriously.

"This does not mean that the university condones sexual violence or harassment, nor does it mean that we prioritize the rights of a convicted individual over the safety of our university community", Dru Marshall, the school's provost told CBC.

"It's time to review the roles universities play in that discussion ... it's time we came together as a collective to ensure the safety and security of our campuses", said Marshall.

The school said they could not expel him because the incident occurred before he was a student at the university.

She says that the school took into account a number of factors in making the decision.

Casswell says she will continue with the petition. "We have no grounds on which to expel him", Marshall said in a statement.

By taking a plea bargain, Neurauter gave up his opportunity to tell his side of the story in court, his mother said.

Neurauter says his son was advised by his lawyer not to speak to the media - but he's speaking out on his son's behalf. He said his son did not receive any special treatment but has been very upset by the sentence.

"He's very remorseful ... he's learned his lesson", said Neurauter. "He should just go to jail". "We are also anxious about his safety, given some of the commentary on social media and so we have advised, based on all of our assessments that he should not return to campus this term". He was also ordered to register as a sex offender for 10 years and to provide a DNA sample to the national data bank.

The woman behind the petition says she's disappointed in the university.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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