Police investigating sexual assault on UBC campus

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Police are investigating a late night sexual assault in a public area of the University of British Columbia campus.

According to the RCMP’s university detachment, at approximately 10 p.m. on Friday night, a 20-year-old female UBC student was walking on Wesbrook Mall near the intersection with Gray Avenue – within the Wesbrook Village neighbourhood – when she was violently grabbed and forced down onto the ground by a man hiding in the bushes. He then proceeded to rub his body against her back.

The woman fought back and managed to free herself from the attacker. She incurred minor injuries, such as bruising, from the ordeal.

The suspect fled the scene and has not been seen since. He has been described by police as a darker skinned male, in his mid-to-late 20s, approximately 5’10” tall, and with a slender build. At the time of the incident, he was wearing dark clothing – possibly a dark coloured hoodie – and smelled of tobacco.

Police believe the suspect may be the same individual who has been lurking in female shower and residential rooms in the Vanier Place and Totem Park residential complexes, which are mainly home to first-year students. Five lurking incidents have been reported since Thursday, and in every incident the male fled after being seen by residents.

Anyone who may have information that could assist investigators is asked to contact UBC RCMP at 604-224-1322 or Crime Stoppers’ anonymous hotline at 1-800-222-8477.

Students who are concerned about their public safety on campus while walking at night can contact UBC Safewalk for a complimentary co-ed escort. Safewalk operates from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. daily and can be contacted at 604-822-5355.

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