*Updated* York University students sexually assaulted in dorm in Toronto

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The usual excitement with the start of the school year at York University has darkened after reports of early-morning sexual assaults.

Police say that two suspects entered Vanier College Residence, near Keele St. and Steeles Ave., where they sexually assaulted two women.

The suspects also attempted to assault another student and broke into two more rooms, but were scared off and fled in an unknown direction. Both incidents happened just right after the first official pub night of the year, which is mostly attended by York students.

According to police, the two victims were taken to the hospital, where they were later released.

“The campus is usually pretty quiet on Fridays – that’s when residents leave to go home – but you can tell especially in Vanier that there’s something going on,†says Gilary Massa, VP for equity of the York Federation of Students, which represents 45,000 undergraduate students. ‘This incident speaks of a broader societal issue of safe space for women.â€

She adds, “As a woman I felt really alone, and helpless. If you’re a first-year woman in residence, I can only imagine how they’re feeling about this.â€

Since the incident, York University has issued a campus-wide alert that includes extra precautions around the campus. Toronto Police has heightened its presence on campus including additional patrol presence within its residential buildings.

It is not known whether the suspects are York University students.

Both suspects are white, in their early 20s and wearing blue jeans. One is described as 5-foot-5 to 5-foot-7 with short dark hair. The other is about 6-foot to 6-foot-1 slim build with short light-coloured hair.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Toronto Police Sex Crimes Unit 416-808-7474 or CrimeStoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477).

SOURCE

This makes me sick to my stomach. *scratches York U off list of Toronto schools to look into*

 
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Oh my gosh. There certainly are so sick people in this world. I sure hope they are caught!!

 
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That is terrible--especially for first years who are alone and impressionable at a new school. I wouldn't blame York University yet. This sort of thing can happen on any college campus. The question to me is how do they react? Do they tighten security, provide counseling, and in general try and make sure it never happens again or do they try and cover their own behinds.

 
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I just hate hearing abotu incidents like this where there are two rapists . . . I mean, to think there are 2 guys out there who think rape is cool
Who knows how many people they will convince to join them >.<

 
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Unfortunately, sometimes with sickos like this they take courage from each other.

 
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Originally Posted by JennyMcL /img/forum/go_quote.gif Unfortunately, sometimes with sickos like this they take courage from each other. Yep, just what I was thinking . . . sick minds feed off of each other =/
 
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Using surveillance video and statements from possible witnesses, investigators are working feverishly to catch two sexual predators who raped two women in a dorm at York University last week.

Detectives are worried that the suspects, who together entered six unlocked dorm rooms at Vanier College early last Friday morning as students slept and attempted to attack a third woman, could re-offend.

The suspects, two men in their 20s and still at large, worked "in tandem" to commit the rapes – behaviour that's considered "extremely unusual," said Det. Christine Long, of the Toronto police Sex Crimes Unit.

"I've never seen this before," Long said yesterday. "We're not talking a home invasion here. Sexual assault is based on deviant behaviour of one person.

"It's not about sex. It's about power and control. Two offenders working in tandem for a single goal – this is not the norm."

The suspects' team effort makes them particularly dangerous, Long said, because they always outnumber a victim, allowing her little chance of escape.

She hopes media coverage of the incidents will inspire the pair, both described as white with medium to tall builds, to "take a breather."

"I want to shut them down so they go in hiding," Long said.

"What's done is done. What I care about is that they don't repeat it."

Investigators are reviewing footage from surveillance video cameras around York University and ploughing through a high volume of tips and information, trying to track the suspects' "every move."

After three days of canvassing the residence, Long said officers will continue to question residents and she's encouraging anyone with information, no matter how seemingly insignificant or silly, to tell police what they know.

"We have to go through everything step by step and be as methodical as we can," Long said.

Judging by the suspects' behaviour – they didn't seem concerned about being caught and weren't deterred from going into so many rooms – the two men appear to have had a certain comfort level in the residence.

That makes Long believe the men probably have "some relationship" with York University or Vanier College, whether they were employed by the institution, "are a student, were a student or know a student," she said.

Gregg McCrary, a retired FBI profiler, said this series of assaults doesn't seem like an "entry-level" offence and the two suspects probably aren't new to crime.

The fact that the men got away with the assaults, he said, will probably embolden them to try again.

McCrary said he wouldn't be surprised if the suspects lived in the dorm, thus vanishing quickly from view after entering so many rooms.

He called the suspects' team effort "unusual," noting people who commit such crimes often lack the interpersonal skills to form relationships with other men, let alone become close enough with them to concoct such a violent plan.

One is 5-foot-5 to 5-foot-7 with a dark complexion and short dark hair. The other is 6-foot to 6-foot-1 with a slim build and short, light-coloured hair. Both were wearing blue jeans.

Police are asking that anyone with information contact the Sex Crimes Unit directly at 416-808-7474 or Crime Stoppers at 416-222-TIPS.

York University remains under a campus-wide alert and officials are asking that students, staff and faculty report any suspicious behaviour.

On-site counselling has been made available to students, and posters warning the student body to be vigilant are plastered around campus.

The number of staff and police in all residences and on the grounds has been increased, as have security patrols.

York president Mamdouh Shoukri issued a statement yesterday, saying these are "devastating events that shake us to the core" and urging students to be "extra cautious."

 

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