Sex offender's sentence delayed so he can finish university
Jan 14 2018 by Desiree Burns
The university was thrown into the controversy after a B.C. judge on January 4 sentenced the man to 90 days in jail for a single count of sexual interference involving a 13-year-old girl, but also ruled he can serve the remainder of it starting May 4, after finishing his semester at the U of C. He then threatened to send her nude photos to her family if she told anyone about their relationship.
The university confirmed that Neurauter could return to campus in the fall, but no decisions have been made and his future as a student is still being assessed.
In a statement posted to the U of Calgary website, Provost and Vice-President Dru Marshall notes the offence took place before Neurauter was a student at the university, and the school's disciplinary policies "do not apply to activity that occurred before the person was a member" of the campus community.
Now, staff says that the situation has gotten so bad that it would be unsafe for Neurauter anywhere on the campus grounds.
Many who signed the petition gave the reason that expulsion would show that U of C sides with victims, or that it takes students' safety seriously, but Marshall wrote that failing to do so is not proof that Neurauter's rights are being prioritized.
But some are saying the punishment is not enough, as a petition has been launched to expel the sophomore.
Marshall said Neurauter has been advised not to return to campus for the remainder of the term, and that the 21-year-old has not been on campus since Tuesday.
"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 lack of significant consequences faced by Neurauter and other sexual predators demonstrates the dismissive attitude that society shows toward sexual violence and abuse", the club said in a statement.
"This does not mean that the university condones sexual violence or harassment", he said.
"It discourages victims from coming forward as perpetrators are accommodated and their actions are excused for the sake of not impeding their 'potential'".
Kaitlyn Casswell, the woman behind the petition, said she was disappointed at the University of Calgary. "He should just go to jail".
She said the petition will remain active until a final decision is made.
Neurauter's parents, Chris and Susan Neurauter, issued a statement to CBC News expressing support for their son and concern over how the media have covered the story.
In interviews with Postmedia and CBC News, the victim's mother said Neurauter was given special treatment by the courts throughout the trial and that it's unfair he has the opportunity to finish his semester before going to jail.
"He didn't rape anyone", she said.
"He's very upset. He's trying to deal with it and work through it". "He's very remorseful ... he's learned his lesson".
"They offered him an opportunity to better himself and I don't understand what the problem is with that", she said. "He's frustrated that he's missing school", said Neurauter.