British Columbia

Saanich police issue sex assault warning

Four men kidnapped and assaulted 20-year-old woman Friday night near the University of Victoria in Saanich, B.C.

Saanich police tell women to stay in well-lit areas

The Saanich Police Department is warning women in the Victoria area to be cautious after four men attacked a 20-year-old woman Friday night near the University of Victoria in Saanich, B.C.

Saanich Police Sgt. Dean Jantzen said that around 10 p.m. PT the victim was walking between parties and became separated from a group of friends, when a car and driver approached her on the road.

'It is a disturbing assault.'—Sgt. Dean Jantzen, Saanich Police

"She was then forced somehow into the vehicle where there were three other males, and from there she was assaulted for a lengthy period of time," Jantzen said.

"It is a disturbing assault."

The woman was later let go five kilometers away in downtown Victoria, near the Save on Foods Memorial Centre.

Jantzen said the woman was the victim of multiple sexual assaults and suffered what appear to be minor physical injuries, but was deeply traumatized by the incident and has been receiving support from the Saanich police and from the Victoria Women's Sexual Assault Centre.

"She is being supported and she is being cared for and is in a safe place," Jantzen said on Sunday.

The Saanich Police Department is asking anyone who may have seen or heard something in the area of Cedar Hill Road and Cedar Cross Road around 10:00 or 10:30 p.m. Friday night to give them a call.

Jantzen said that his department is also looking for any witnesses to talk or communications about the alleged crime after the fact: "We all know in this day in age that people might brag about it or Twitter about it or put something about it on their Facebook, so we would ask people to be mindful of that," he said.

The descriptions of the suspects and suspect car that the victim was able to provide are too vague and general "to be really useful at this point in time," Jantzen said.

Without commenting on the specifics of this case, Jantzen said that it is always a good time to remind women in the community to be vigilant about their surroundings.

"If you are in what might be construed as a vulnerable situation, we would encourage women in our community to be mindful of their safety," Jantzen said.

"Travel in groups, stick to well-lit areas, be mindful of your drink, where you leave it, and who you accept a drink from."