Ex-McGill Redmen player accused of sexual assault leaves sports camp

A former McGill Redmen football player charged with sexual assault will no longer be working at the Montreal university's sports camp for children.

Ian Sheriff is one of 3 former Montreal university football players charged in 2012

McGill University's provost has called for an examination of employment procedures in the Athletics and Recreation department, after a former football player accused of sexual assault was hired to work at the university's sports camp. (McGill University )

One of the three former McGill Redmen football players charged with sexual assault will no longer be working at the Montreal university's sports camp for children.

On Wednesday, CBC News learned this was the third summer that Ian Sheriff worked as a counsellor at the McGill sports camp, which is for children aged six to 15.

Sheriff, along with Brenden Carrière and Guillaume Tremblay are accused of sexually assaulting a former Concordia University student in September 2011 and are awaiting trial.

None of the allegations against Sheriff have been proven in court. 

The university's provost said the decision to hire Sheriff was made through "a lapse in judgment." But it's unclear whether Sheriff resigned or was let go.

Provost Anthony Masi said he was not aware of Sheriff's summer job at the camp until CBC News reported on it.

Masi released the following statement:

Ian Sheriff, a former football player with McGill University in Montreal, faces charges for sexually assaulting a former Concordia University student in September 2011. (McGill Athletics)

"Late Wednesday afternoon, I learned that a person facing sexual assault charges from a 2011 off-campus incident, had been working as a counsellor in the McGill Athletics and Recreation Sports Camp.

The employee in question will not be returning to work at the camp or at the university.

Notwithstanding the fact that McGill is bound by the presumption of innocence and by an accused’s right to due process, the hiring of that person for a leadership role at the sports camp raises questions.

On face value, that decision appears to be the result of a lapse in judgment by those involved in hiring at Athletics and Recreation, even for a casual, temporary or part-time post.

I have called for a thorough review of the circumstances that led to this hiring at the sports camp and a full and complete examination of employment procedures at McGill Athletics and Recreation. The objective is to ensure that practices are coherent, fair, and equitable, reflect the values of McGill and ensure a safe and secure environment."

Parents question hiring policy

Some parents questioned the decision to employ Sheriff despite the accusations against him.

Katie McIntrye's nine-year-old son attends the camp.

"I do question what their policy for hiring people is," she said.

"I own my own business and I wouldn't hire somebody to work with kids that is undergoing that assault charge."

On Thursday, parents of children attending the sports camp were informed that a person facing sexual assault charges is no longer working there.

The statement does not name Sheriff, but says "the hiring of that person for a leadership role has come into question," and apologizes to parents who may have had concerns. 

In a statement Wednesday, Sheriff's lawyer defended her client's innocence.

"It would seem patently unfair to prejudice the life and career of an individual simply because he is before the courts," said Isabel Schurman. 

Sheriff, Carrière and Tremblay were arrested in April 2012, and have been allowed to continue their studies after being charged with sexual assault.

They continued to play on the Redmen football team, quitting only after the charges became public. 

Background checks

Every counsellor in a camp certified by the Quebec Association of Camps must undergo a background check, meaning any recent accusations would appear during a search.

"We absolutely would not recommend to hire such an applicant. It's a big red flag," said Chloé Melançon-Beauséjour, association spokeswoman.

McGill sports camp is not a member of the association, but background checks are done on counsellor applicants.

Sheriff's next court appearance is scheduled for Nov. 17.     

Notice sent to parents

Following is the full notice that was sent to parents who have children in the sports camp.


  • An earlier version of the story stated that Ian Sheriff is also charged with forcible confinement. His lawyer has told CBC News that that charge has been dropped.
    Jul 24, 2014 8:50 AM ET