CALGARY – The University of Calgary says it’s talking to a student who pleaded guilty to a sex charge about options to pursue his studies.
Connor Neurauter was sentenced earlier this month to 90 days in jail after he admitted in a Kamloops, B.C., court in November that he sexually interfered with a 13-year-old girl.
The case stoked outrage because the judge allowed him to delay all but one day of his sentence to May 4 — once Neurauter had completed his semester at the university.
The university has said it does not have the grounds to expel the 21-year-old because the offence took place before he was a student, but has advised him not to return this term or he will be escorted off campus by security.
The Criminal Trial Lawyers’ Association wrote a letter last week to the university’s board of governors criticizing what the lawyers called Neurauter’s de-facto expulsion that “flies in the face” of the university’s discipline policies.
Provost Dru Marshall has responded by saying Neurauter has not been expelled and the university’s decision isn’t a disciplinary measure.
“We have advised him not to return to campus this term, while we work with him to develop options that would allow him to pursue his studies in a productive learning environment,” Marshall said in a statement Tuesday.
“We are concerned for the safety and security of everyone on our campus community, including Mr. Neurauter. This is a challenging and complicated situation. It demands thoughtful and considered assessment that respects all involved.”
The trial lawyers’ association said in its letter that the university’s moved was “an act of cowardice and a denial of fundamental due process.”
The lawyers’ group said if there were concerns around Neurauter’s safety, the university should have worked with the Calgary Police Service to ensure it.