Intercourse offender might be escorted off campus, College of Calgary says

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The university was thrown into the controversy after a B.C. judge on January 4 sentenced the man to 90 days in jail for a single count of sexual interference involving a 13-year-old girl, but also ruled he can serve the remainder of it starting May 4, after finishing his semester at the U of C.

The statement was issued in response to an online petition that garnered almost 50,000 signatures in a matter of days.

Neurauter's mother says he is in his second year, pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry.

During his sentencing, the court heard how he had solicited nude photos from the girl after the two began a brief sexual relationship that did not involve intercourse. Another charge of possessing child pornography was later dismissed.

He was sentenced to 90 days in jail, but the Kamloops, B.C. judge approved a joint submission that he be permitted to finish his term first.

His sentence was supposed to start on Jan 4.

Connor Neurauter, originally from Kamloops, B.C., pleaded guilty last week to sexual interference in an incident that took place before he was a student at the university.

On Thursday, U of C officials confirmed they had asked Neurauter not to return to the school for the remainder of the semester.

Dru Marshall, a representative of the U of C, says that the decision was made to ensure the safety of students and Neurauter himself. "This is important, because our policies do not apply to activity that occurred before the person was a member of our campus community", Marshall wrote.

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In fact, the University of Calgary is also unwilling to expel Connor Neurauter because they believe they have "no grounds" to do so.

When asked what would happen if he were to attempt to return to the university although being advised not to, Marshall said, "If he was to show up on campus, campus security will escort him off campus".

"On the contrary, we aspire to be leaders in creating a safe and inclusive learning environment that helps advance all of our students and improve society as a whole".

Marshall says that the school is in contact with Neurauter to determine what sort of alternate arrangements can be made to fulfill his schooling. "Since he was arrested he has done his best to be respectful of the legal system and the other individuals involved in this matter", the statement read in part.

"By allowing him to go on with his life normally, finishing up his semester at university, it sends the wrong message to victims of sexual violence", Kaitlyn Casswell, who started the petition, told the CBC.

"It's been a really tough week for people and they're really struggling at this point", she said.

"To say that I am disappointed... is an understatement", she said.

In interviews with Postmedia and CBC News, the victim's mother said Neurauter was given special treatment by the courts throughout the trial and that it's unfair he has the opportunity to finish his semester before going to jail. He didn't rape anyone. She said there have been many cases where a perpetrator's athletic or academic prospects have factored too heavily into their punishment.

"He made some very, very poor choices. We're working on figuring this out".