It seemed that with #TimesUp holding the attention of anybody who has been paying attention to pop culture this past weekend that we were finally turning a corner when it comes to sexual aggravation and assault. Unfortunately, a story regarding a former Canadian junior hockey player and his sexual interference charges on a (then) 13-year-old girl prove that while Hollywood is making efforts, it's not the same story around the world.
Connor Neurauter is a 21-year-old currently enrolled at the University of Calgary. Earlier this week he plead guilty to a sexual interference charge regarding a 13-year-old minor he had relations with when he was 18. The charges outlined his possession of her underage nude photos as well as his use of the photos to threaten her to stay silent about their relationship. In addition to sexual interference, he was also facing an addition child pornography charge. While he was sentenced to 90 days in jail last week, he's not serving the time immediately. Why the grace period? So he can finish his upcoming semester of university.
According to the victim's mother, this isn't the first pardon Neurauter has gotten throughout the trial process. Not only was his 2016 court date changed so that he could attend his hockey team's training camp, but he repeatedly would be unavailable for court because of hockey tournaments, exams or just "couldn't come because he was studying."
Throughout the court process, the victim's story of how Neurauter had asked for naked photos of her both on text and Snapchat throughout their relationship as well as having choked her with his hands at times began to take shape. The relationship between the two escalated to the point where one of the victim's friends (aged 14 at the time) sent photos of herself in efforts to get him away from the victim.
The victim's story regarding the situation even after their relationship ended proves just how concerning this kind of lenience can be as she stated that she was "scared because he knew where she lived and knew where her room was." She was terrified that she would run into him in public too.
The concerns of the victim echoed the exact same concerns from a similar case in the past regarding a Wilfrid Laurier student who had been sexually assaulted in her sleep by a student-athlete. Throughout the trial process, the athlete was able to continue going to classes, even the one that both he and the victim were both in.
Unfortunately, this is yet another case that falls under the dozens that feature extreme accommodations made for men when it comes to cases regarding sexual assault against women. Another prominent story happened just last year regarding the Chance Macdonald case where his sentencing for assaulting a girl was postponed until September so that he could finish his internship.
While it will take until May 4th for Neurauter to serve his 90 days, he will at least be registering as a sex offender and will have to submit his DNA to a database. With cases like these piling up and backlash beginning to form, all we can do is hope the justice system does better in the future.
Source: VICE Canada