Home Canada College of Windsor erred in handling student’s sexual assault complaint, court rules

College of Windsor erred in handling student’s sexual assault complaint, court rules

College of Windsor erred in handling student’s sexual assault complaint, court rules

The College of Windsor says this would possibly perhaps revisit a student’s sexual assault complaint against one other student after an Ontario divisional court dominated its actions had been unlawful and unreasonable.

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A College of Windsor student filed a sexual assault complaint against one other student on Jan. 13, 2020. A panel of the Ontario Superior Court’s divisional court has dominated the college erred in resolving the complaint. (Chris Ensing/CBC)

The College of Windsor failed to properly unravel a student’s sexual assault complaint by blueprint of a process she says left her feeling powerless and troubled, an Ontario court has dominated.

A college adjudicator unlawfully delegated her allure to a criminal court instead of issuing a determination below its dangle campus policies, a divisional court panel of judges acknowledged in a determination launched in April.

The court characteristic aside the university’s determination, telling the college to revisit the student’s complaint against a male student, using a distinctive adjudicator. Since the court’s ruling, the college has agreed to re-adjudicate the case.

The student, who’s safe by a publication ban, spoke solely to CBC Windsor, saying she’s relieved by the panel’s determination. Then again, she calls her skills with the university “terrifying.”

“I felt bask in my dignity turned into once already stolen and whatever energy I had left in me they took that away from me as effectively,” says the student, who’s referred to as Jane Doe.

Jane Doe acknowledged she did not feel true returning to campus after filing her complaint. (Chris Ensing/CBC Information)

The panel of judges furthermore raised considerations with the lead investigator’s think about how she “would set a query to a sexual assault complainant to act” during the assault. The investigator failed to include in her file the student’s region that she “did not consent and had expressed her lack of consent at several points verbally or by her actions.”

How the complaint process unfolded

According to the court, Doe first filed a complaint with the university on Jan. 13, 2020, saying one other student had  “penetrated her without consent” in the autumn of 2019. 


The university’s affiliate vice-president of student skills (AVPSE) turned into once tasked with investigating, and six months later, according to the court, “concluded, on a steadiness of probabilities, that the respondent did not sexually assault Ms. Doe.”

Doe appealed, saying the AVPSE made a “serious procedural error” in a determination that turned into once “clearly unreasonable or unsupportable on the evidence,” the judges acknowledged.

The subject turned into once handed on to an adjudicator at the college who acknowledged the initial investigation “veered into the unpleasant territory of assessing how an ordinary victim would possibly perhaps well perchance react or how a complainant ought to maintain reacted.”

The AVPSE, in its initial determination, relied intently on that investigation’s findings. Light, the adjudicator, who turned into once not named in the determination, took no action and acknowledged the College of Windsor would defend up for the end result of a criminal trial.

Failing a criminal conviction, the allure would be dismissed, the adjudicator acknowledged. 

In their determination, the divisional court judges known as this abdication of determination-making both unreasonable and unlawful. 

‘Error after error’: student’s lawyer

“I think what we seen here turned into once the university shirking its responsibility below the rules to properly handle and adjudicate this allegation of sexual assault. Instead what they tried to manufacture turned into once foist this determination on to criminal court, which turned into once totally walk,” acknowledged Doe’s lawyer, Gregory Ko, a partner at the Toronto firm Kastner Lam.

“That you can maintain error after error that has resulted in an incredibly lengthy and painful process for Jane Doe that is lasted now 16 months,” acknowledged Ko. 

Doe’s lawyer, Gregory Ko, says the court’s determination paperwork the College of Windsor’s errors in handling her sexual assault complaint. (Chris Ensing/CBC)

In agreeing to re-adjudicate the student’s complaint, the College of Windsor is furthermore reviewing its sexual misconduct policies and procedures.

“This includes the incorporation of enhanced training for internal and exterior investigators as it relates to the university’s Protection on Sexual Misconduct,” the college acknowledged in an announcement. 

Experts in sex assault prevention, protection weigh in

Experts in sexual assault prevention and protection agree more training is mandatory to handle campus complaints.

Barb MacQuarrie led a crew of researchers at London’s Western College who developed a program for of us dealing with sexual assault conditions at Ontario campuses.

She acknowledged what Doe went by blueprint of is “totally unfair.”

WATCH | An expert in sexual violence prevention speaks on how U of W can toughen:

Western College’s Barb MacQuarrie discusses Jane Doe’s case and the importance of informed administrators. 1: 47

“That is dragging a survivor by blueprint of a apt process that she would not wish to struggle by blueprint of. No survivor of any gender would possibly perhaps well perchance fair serene ever wish to struggle by blueprint of that kind of outrageous effort appropriate to maintain procedural justice.”

MacQuarrie worries concerning the ripple fabricate of Doe’s skills. 

“There is absolute self belief that these kinds of experiences deter a number of folks from coming forward. Survivors will be paying attention to this complete process.” 

She acknowledged whereas the College of Windsor is thought of as a frontrunner for its work on sexual assault prevention on campus, this determination reveals systemic points serene would possibly perhaps well perchance fair serene be addressed. 

Dusty Johnstone, a sexual assault prevention officer who turned into once not involved at once in Doe’s case, says folks must know easy programs to acknowledge when any individual tells them a couple of sexual assault. (Stacey Janzer/CBC)

Dusty Johnstone, the sexual misconduct response and prevention officer at the College of Windsor, acknowledged she turned into once not involved in the investigation or choices made in relation to Doe’s complaint. 

Then again, she acknowledged: “I think that it be a possibility for us to search fastidiously at the procedures and the blueprint we, I think, fail to meet the authorized that we now maintain got outlined in our paperwork, and to in fact try to align our protection and our procedures as we transfer forward.”

Johnstone careworn out that sexual assault complaints mandatory to be handled in a timely manner, something the court makes certain in its determination. 

Complaint process ‘oppressive,’ says Doe

Doe acknowledged she needs her teach and the voices of others to be heard when universities make protection choices involving sexual misconduct and the complaint process.

She acknowledged it turned into once advanced to attain abet forward because of this of of fears she wouldn’t be believed. 

“This process requires plenty of courage and have faith. I set a query to the university to handle these conditions severely and be ready to eliminate second victimization. The process that the university has, it be on the total oppressive to those individuals. It oppresses them instead of empowering them.”

A criminal case is expected to begin this summer season. 

The male student accused in the sexual assault did not enter any evidence during the formula. 

His lawyer did not acknowledge to a group a query to for comment. 

College of Windsor erred in handling student’s sexual assault complaint, court rules