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A sexual assault investigation connected to the University of Ottawa’s hockey team continues, local police confirmed Tuesday.
In a news release issued Wednesday afternoon, the Thunder Bay Police Service confirmed that the investigation into an alleged Feb. 1 incident was still ongoing.
Investigators from the local force and members of the RCMP are expected to be in Ottawa Wednesday to interview with people believed to be connected with the alleged incident.
Police will be assisted by members of the Ottawa Police Service, and the interview process is expected to take several days.
While little is known about the alleged incident that sparked this investigation, media in Ottawa had previously reported it as a gang sexual assault.
The investigation began on Feb. 25 after police learned of the allegations through a third party. The University of Ottawa responded by suspending the entire men’s hockey team, which had been already been eliminated from the OUA playoffs, indefinitely.
University officials added to that, stating in a news conference shortly after the investigation was made public that it intended to co-operate fully with investigators.
Meanwhile, in Thunder Bay police spokesman Chris Adams told local media on March 3 that the incident does revolve around the University of Ottawa’s men’s hockey team visit to the city in early February.
“It’s an allegation of a sexual assault, which occurred sometime on the weekend of Feb. 1. This weekend coincides with the weekend the Ottawa hockey team, from the University of Ottawa was in town playing (the Lakehead Thunderwolves),” Adams said, not directly confirming the Ottawa players were involved.
Adams said third-party complaints aren’t uncommon in sexual assault cases. Police have been in contact with the victim, but would not comment on reports the victim is not co-operating with the authorities.
“We are working with the victim. We’re also working with all involved parties at this stage,” he said. “It’s still a preliminary investigation at this point. But we are following up as best we can, as well as with the assistance of the Ottawa Police Service who are doing a lot of the leg work for us.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact Thunder Bay Police Service at (807) 684-1200, Ottawa Police Service Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Section at 613-236-1222 ext.5944 or Crime Stoppers 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
You may also submit an anonymous web tip at www.tipsubmit.com.
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