Rector of Laval University defends silence after reports of sexual assaults
Denis Brière said he could not speak out because of police investigation
Denis Brière, the rector of Laval University, is defending his silence in the wake of a spate of sexual assaults alleged to have taken place in a university residence Friday night.
Brière said he did not want to speak publicly after the incidents because he didn't want to interfere with the police investigation.
Quebec City police, along with university security, are investigating complaints from 11 students that someone broke into their dormitory rooms in the Alphonse-Marie-Parent residence Friday night, with four of the reports alleging a physical or sexual assault took place.
Brière said that since he took the position of rector in 2007 the university has faced other inquiries, and in none of those cases did he meet with media.
"We put priority on victims and the community," Brière told CBC News.
Crisis management analyst Victor Henriquez criticized Brière's silence until now, saying the rector needs to defend the reputation of the university in situations like this.
"The rector needs to go into crisis mode" Henriquez said, adding it's the job of the university administration to inform the public.
Brière said that he has been actively working to come up with a course of action to ensure the campus is safe, meeting with student associations and campus security.
He said security has been stepped up following the break-ins.
"We're looking to see if they need to increase [security] more. And seeing if, hopefully, there will be no more incidents like this on campus," Brière said
with files from CBC's Glenn Wanamaker