Three McGill football players will be in Quebec court on December 18 for the start of their preliminary hearing on charges of sexually assaulting a student from Concordia University.
But in the meantime they're still playing for the university's football team.
Fifteen months ago Brenden Carrière, Ian Sheriff, and Guillaume Tremblay were charged with sexual assault with a weapon and forcible confinement of the former Concordia student.
The student, who pressed charges, has since left Concordia and the province. The three football players are now in their fourth year and play for the McGill Redmen this season.
“By not doing anything, the university, in my opinion, is not recognizing the importance of the possible act that was done,” Rose-Amélie Cascon, councilor at the West Island Center Against Sexual Assault (CALAC), told CJAD.
“The message that they’re sending is: this is not a big deal”
McGill University refused to speak to CJAD until the matter was out of the courts, but in a statement, it said the individuals are presumed innocent until the allegations have been proven in the courts, and in order to protect the rights of all parties involved, it decided to let the judicial process take its course.
“It’s always the purpose of the team that matters the most,” Jean-Philippe Shoiry, a former quarter back for Sherbrooke University told CJAD.
“If guys are acting in a way that has negative consequences on the team, then you need to take action, if proven guilty, if they have evidence, like a video or something, then I would throw them off the team right away.”
The Canadian Interuniversity Sport league also declined to comment, about the men still playing in their league, saying it had no idea the incident occurred.
The preliminary hearing will determine if there's enough evidence to send the case to trial and should last two days.