ANTIGONISH: StFX University has suspended a student following allegations of sexual assault.
In a letter addressed to the campus community sent on the morning of March 9, the university explained they became aware of the allegation of sexual assault and took appropriate action.
“StFX has been made aware that criminal charges are being laid against a student for an alleged drug-facilitated sexual assault at an off-campus location,” the letter stated. “As an interim measure, the accused student has been suspended from the university and is not permitted on campus.”
The letter continued on by saying the safety and well-being of their students is their top priority and provided resources and support such as the Antigonish Women’s Resource Centre and Sexual Assault Services Association, the StFX Health and Counselling Centre, or Good2Talk Nova Scotia, for anyone who may be a victim of sexual violence.
Cindy MacKenzie, the manager of media relations for the university, told The Reporter that StFX has no further comment on the situation.
This is the second time this academic year that a student has left the StFX campus community regarding allegations over sexual assault. In October, after a week of highlighted controversy, another student accused of sexual assault withdrew from the university after it was revealed he was allowed to remain on the campus pending a criminal trial.
Last year, an 18-year-old from Toronto, whose name is under a publication ban, reported a sexual assault to the university. A quasi-judicial panel found a male student responsible and suspended him for the 2018-19 academic year. Although the university launched an investigation and found the accused responsible, his suspension was set aside after he appealed the decision and his victim, wasn’t notified.
Dealing with the mishandling of communication back in October, Dr. Kent MacDonald, president of StFX University, said he asked for an update on the connection between their new sexual violence policy and the university’s code of conduct.
Cpl. Jennifer Clarke, the RCMP’s public information officer, confirmed Antigonish RCMP charged 23-year-old former StFX basketball player Davonte Provo with one count of sexual assault in relation to a complaint made on October 26, 2018.
This is also the second time in the past 17-months that former varsity-athletes from StFX were charged with sexual assault. In 2017, two football players – one of whom who was the president of an on-campus residence – were charged with sexual assault. Police said an 18-year-old female student contacted them saying she had been sexually assaulted on campus. A second woman, a 19-year-old came forward with allegations of one of the men under investigation had sexually assaulted her on two seperate occasions on campus.
Provo was arrested on March 8 and was released on conditions by police. He is scheduled to appear in Antigonish Provincial Court on May 15. The allegations have not been proven in court.