Student to meet John Abbott College officials over sexual assault claim

A John Abbott College student who claims she was sexually assaulted by a fellow student says she will be meeting with school administrators next week.

19-year-old woman alleges police, school didn't take her allegations seriously

John Abbott is getting criticized for its handling of an alleged sexual assault in June. (CBC)

A John Abbott College student who claims she was sexually assaulted by a fellow student says she will be meeting with school administrators next week.

The school suspended the male student after the alleged attack, but officials said this week they planned to allow him back for the fall semester after police dropped the case.

CBC News is not revealing the alleged victim's identity because she fears for her safety.

The 19-year-old woman claims that in June, a male student choked her, slapped her, forced her into a men's washroom on campus and made her perform oral sex.

She said Montreal police did not take her allegations seriously and closed the investigation.

A 19-year-old says she was choked and made to perform oral sex in a John Abbott College bathroom in June. (Courtesy CRARR)
The woman plans to meet with the school next week to discuss how she and the male student will be re-integrated.

The student says she sometimes sees the alleged attacker on the bus on her way to school.

"It's going to be really hard on me if I do end up seeing him. I'll probably most likely end up having a panic attack," she said.

"To be honest, I don't really feel safe if he comes back to school.

She wants police investigators to reopen the case.

Lison Desclos, a spokesperson for John Abbott, confirmed Friday the school had arranged a meeting with the student.

Desclos declined to offer further comment.

Petition demands action

An online petition was launched demanding more action from police and John Abbott College.

The petition, started by Concordia University student Elizabeth Hanley on Thursday, calls for the student accused of the assault to be suspended until the case is investigated more thoroughly. 

It also calls for police and the college to apologize to the female student and for the CEGEP to implement mandatory sexual-assault awareness programs for all first year students.

Hanley, a former John Abbott student, said she doesn't know the alleged victim, but she feels it's important to highlight the case.

The petition reached its 1,000-signature goal less than a day after being launched.

With files from Steve Rukavina and Jay Turnbull