StFX mum on investigation into attempted assault

ANTIGONISH: A local university is not releasing information from an investigation it launched after a student was accused of attempted assault.

In an open letter published by the StFX student newspaper, The Xaverian Weekly, Rebecca Mesay, president-elect of the university’s student union, accused a former StFX athlete of attempting to assault her.

“As soon as I realized what exactly was happening, I was incredulous,” stated Mesay in the letter. “What is wrong with him? Does he realize what he is about to do?”

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Mesay also stated it took three men to hold back her would-be attacker.

“They are as big as you are and it took all three of them intervening to keep you from getting to me,” stated Mesay in the letter. “Do you not feel this is problematic?”

The accused graduated this year.

When contacted for comment, StFX university student services head Andrew Beckett said there was an incident reported to the university involving Mesay and another student at an off campus location.

“That initiated an internal investigation from our standpoint which was completed and the appropriate steps were taken as part of the investigation process,” said Beckett. “I can’t comment on the results of that. For privacy reasons, that’s dealt with with the accused and with the complainant. The information is just disclosed to them.”

When asked if the RCMP is involved, Beckett said he is aware they received a report of the incident.

“My understanding is they have not pressed charges and don’t plan to press charges and that’s as much as I know about it at this point in time,” said Beckett, stating he couldn’t confirm whether or not the accused was the captain of the basketball team. “I’ve reviewed the case and am satisfied, based on the incident and based on what was reported to us – and the actions that were taken by our internal investigation in terms of interviewing witnesses, interviewing the accused, interviewing the complainant – that appropriate steps were taken from the university’s standpoint.”

When asked what the university has to say to the student body following the incident, and incidents involving two former athletes accused of sexual assault, Beckett said the university clearly demonstrated it does not tolerate violence or aggression of any form.

“The safety and security of our students is absolutely paramount in terms of the environment that we want to create on campus,” Beckett added.