Two Laval University students arrested after repeated break-ins
Two Laval University students have been arrested in connection to multiple sexual assaults and break-ins that occurred at one of the school’s residences last week.
In a statement, Quebec City police said they had received 15 complaints of break-ins and four women who lived in the Parent building had reported being sexually assaulted.
A 20-year-old suspect was released after questioning with a promise to appear in court. The other, 19-year-old Thierno-Oury Barry, was arraigned on Saturday on charges of breaking and entering, though more charges could be introduced next week.
Police said one of the suspects had also lived in the Parent building.
At a press conference on Saturday morning, university Provost Eric Bauce said the two have been suspended until judicial proceedings have concluded. He added that additional security measures, put into place after the incidents were first reported, will be maintained for now.
Bauce said school officials had taken to heart feedback from students and sexual violence advocates who had criticized them for acting too slowly after the reports were made.
“There are always lessons to be learned from this type of incident,” he said. “There was no protocol for serial sexual assaults in residences. We will work on it.”
In a statement, Rector Denis Briere said the arrests did not signify an end to what had happened and commended the courage of those who came forward.
“We are witnessing the beginning of a larger movement where many social actors have mobilized in recent days to stop sexual violence once and for all,” he said.