University of Calgary find they have 'no grounds' to expel convicted sex offender
Statement by Dru Marshall says policies don't apply to activity that occurred before attending the post-secondary institution
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The University of Calgary will not expel Connor Neurauter, a man who has been granted a semester of freedom by a B.C. judge before serving 90 days in prison for sexual interference of an underage girl.
But the convicted sex offender has been asked to stay off campus for the remainder of the term.
An online petition created earlier in the week had garnered nearly 50,000 signatures to expel the student, who is studying science at the University of Calgary.
This after the Kamloops provincial court heard Neurauter had a relationship with a 13-year-old girl on Snapchat and threatened to show nude photos of her with family, according to Kamloops This Week.
The victim told police Neurauter once choked her before giving her a bra as a gift, they met on several occasions in the summer of 2015. After their in-person meetings, he reportedly began asking for nude photos, which he used to threaten her into keeping their relationship a secret.
"We have heard and understand the concerns raised by the community inside and outside the university about him remaining a student here," read a statement from U of C provost Dru Marshall.
"The matter in British Columbia occurred before Mr. Neurauter was a student at the University of Calgary. This is important because our policies do not apply to activity that occurred before the person was a member of our campus community. We have no grounds on which to expel him."
However, the statement goes on to state that Neurauter isn't currently on campus.
"We have advised him not to return to campus for the remainder of the term," read Marshall's statement.
"Management is continuing to assess the situation and is working with Mr. Neurauter to come to a resolution that respects all involved."
Neurauter's mother, Susan, said the school was concerned for her son's safety and his ability to have a successful educational experience at the U of C with all of the public backlash against him, including online threats.
Although the victim's mother asserted he was given preferential treatment throughout the trial to fit his busy schedule, Susan said there's nothing unusual about a court allowing an intermittent sentence and her son was not treated differently.
"They offered him an opportunity to better himself and I don't understand what the problem is with that," she said.
By taking a plea bargain, Neurauter gave up his opportunity to tell his side of the story in court, his mother said. His choice was meant to minimize the impact on the victim, she said.
"Of course he has regrets and remorse, but he was making an effort to not only acknowledge that but put this behind him," she said.
- with files from Canadian Press