News / Halifax

Former groundskeeper at Halifax university facing new sex charge from reopened police file

Halifax Regional Police now say they are laying charges against Matthew Albert Percy from an alleged incident from 2014.

The Halifax Regional Police logo on the side of a vehicle.

Zane Woodford / Metro

The Halifax Regional Police logo on the side of a vehicle.

A former Saint Mary’s University groundskeeper is facing a third charge of sexual assault after police reopened a 2014 investigation.

Halifax Regional Police said Thursday the incident was first reported to them on Dec. 8, 2014, when a woman told officers she’d been sexually assaulted by a man she knew on Dec. 6 at a residence on Lemarchant Street.

The file was closed with no charges Jan. 5, 2015.

More than three years later, on Jan. 18, 2018, police reopened the investigation and Wednesday, charged 34-year-old Matthew Albert Percy with sexual assault causing bodily harm.

Police spokesperson Const. Carol McIsaac said Thursday police classified the case as “founded with no charges laid” in 2015.

“There’s not really a reason why,” she said.

When asked if police take some responsibility for the subsequent alleged assaults, McIsaac said, “Well, I mean hindsight’s great.”

“You’d love to be able to go back and fix everything that may not have been done the way you would’ve liked to have them done at the time,” she said.

“But the investigation on its own back in 2014 was thoroughly done and the investigator looked at all of the evidence that they had at the time in consultation with the victim, because we do have that victim-centred, trauma-informed approach to sexualized violence, and they determined at that time that they would’ve go forward with charges.”

McIsaac said no new evidence has come forward in the case.

Percy appeared in Halifax provincial court Thursday, and was remanded into custody till his next court appearance.

The first is alleged to have happened on Sep. 3 at a home in the Armdale area, and the second on Sep. 15 at a SMU dorm.

The former groundskeeper no longer works for the university, which was working with police on the investigation last year.

Correction: An earlier version of this article contained incorrect information from police. The sexual assault is alleged to have happened on Dec. 6, 2014, not Dec. 5.

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