UPDATE: Police investigating after sexual assault on campus

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Detectives are currently investigating a sexual assault that occurred on UVic campus involving a female student in the early morning of Saturday, Sept. 26, according to a Saanich Police media release.

The student was assaulted by several male suspects, though no significant injuries were reported, nor was medical treatment required. No other details are known at this time.

Saanich Police are asking if anybody may have witnessed the crime or have any details that will aid in the investigation to contact them at 250-475-4321, or Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

The Martlet has contacted the university for comment; this story will be updated as it develops. The Saanich Police will be available for comment on Monday.

UPDATE: Details of the assault and pending investigation were made public after Saanich Police provided a media release on Sept. 28, as various campus groups, including the UVSS, Anti-Violence Project, and the university itself all responded to the incident.

According to Sgt. Steve Eassie of the Saanich Police, the assault occurred between the hours of midnight Friday, Sept. 25, and 1 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 26 near campus residences.

As previously reported, the assault involved a female victim and several male suspects, although Eassie could not confirm the exact number of assailants.

“At this point, all I can tell you is that there are multiple suspects,” Eassie said, but investigators “don’t want to taint other witness information that has yet to come forward.”

The female victim was on her way to another location on campus after leaving a group elsewhere, and made contact with the suspects in a “relatively low-lit area,” with the incident ending up in a wooded area surrounding campus.

The victim was able to escape after an unidentified person intervened before things could get worse.

“This act, while it was in progress, was interrupted by a third party,” Eassie said. He continued by saying that the police are asking the unknown person to step forward to investigators.

“The person that intervened did not reach out to the victim in any way, so as far as I’m aware, there was no direct contact between the two of them,” Eassie said.

Campus Security Director Tom Downie said that they are cooperating with Saanich Police in the investigation. Campus Security was notified of the assault late Saturday afternoon after the victim reported the incident to Residence Services.

“Our first response is, for the victim in this case, to make sure their needs are looked after,” Downie said. “We’ll advise them about counselling, health services, [and] other support both on and off campus. Discussion will take place on what they’d like to do as far as next steps, as far as contacting the police and so forth, and in this case the police were contacted.”

Eassie reiterated that they are still seeking anybody who may have witnessed the assault to come forward.

“We are hopeful that we do get some further information which will allow our investigation to continue.”

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