Sexual offender seen on campus

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A man committed a sexual assault four years ago and has recently been spotted back on campus multiple times. Astoria Luzzi reports

A man who committed a sexual assault in 2007 has been seen trespassing on Ryerson campus this past week.

The man was already banned from campus before the incident, which occurred near the 99 Gerrard St. entrance to Eric Palin Hall and the Sally Horsfall Eaton Centre for Studies in Community Health.

The incident consisted of the unwanted touching of a female student’s inner thigh.

According to a security watch released by Ryerson security and emergency services on Nov. 16, it is believed the man committed more acts of sexual assault off campus.

The suspect’s ban from campus is still in effect.

He was spotted shortly past midnight on Nov. 12, and later was seen entering the Ryerson Library.

He was seen again on Nov. 15 in the Ted Rogers School of Management building.

Ryerson’s security and emergency services responded to both sightings, and the trespassing incidents which were reported to Toronto Police Services.

According to Tanya Fermin-Poppleton, manager of security and emergency services, the suspect may have been on campus between the initial incident in 2007 and the incidents last week.

Fermin-Poppleton said trespassing is usually only brought to attention when there is suspicious activity, calls from students, staff, faculty and the community, or if the individual is recognized by Ryerson security guards on duty.

The suspect is described as a male with a light brown complexion, in his mid to late 30s, with a medium build, short black hair and goatee and an overall unkempt appearance.

Security has received numerous reports of people of concern on campus this semester, many of which have taken place in or around Eric Palin Hall, particularly in the second floor women’s bathroom.

They have increased their patrols in and around the building, but students taking classes there are still concerned.

“More visibility from security is needed,” said Tess Fetcher, a fourth-year social work student. “I’ve seen one security guard here in my three years.”

Fetcher believes that a more visible presence from security would help deter offenders and that group walks home would be a good strategy after night classes.

Hira Hijira, a fourth-year social work student, thinks Eric Palin should definitely be a focus for security.

“I think since Ryerson is so spread out the security needs to be spread better between buildings,” said Hajira.

Melissa Rehimian, a third-year social work student, says she sees security everywhere else.

“I’ve never seen them [in EPH] and this building hosts programs that are almost 90 per cent women,” said Rehian.

Third-year social work student Swedha Ezhilarasu is also concerned.

“I’m paying a lot for tuition and I don’t feel safe even going to the washroom in [EPH].”

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