RCMP investigate reports of groping at BC Games athlete dance

As many as 30 girls have claimed they were inappropriately touched at BC Summer Games dance on Vancouver Island

RCMP confirmed Friday morning they are investigating numerous reports of inappropriate touching at a dance held for athletes during the BC Summer Games in Cowichan last weekend.

BC Games Society President and CEO Kelly Mann told Black Press Media Thursday that a police file has been opened, and he’s urging any other athletes to come forward after as many as 30 girls said they were groped by fellow athletes.

Officers are working towards confirming the events that took place and identifying all of the athletes involved, RCMP Staff Sarg. Annie Linteau said in a release on Friday.

“While we have initiated an investigation into these allegations, it is imperative that anyone who may have been a victim or witnessed the incident contact police so the matter can be thoroughly investigated,” she said.

A dance was held for the young athletes on Saturday night at the Cowichan Exhibition Centre. The event included a DJ, as well as activities both in the centre and outside including badminton, volleyball and a photo booth.

Mann said a number of girls told volunteers and BC Games staff that evening that a group of boys were pinching and grabbing their buttocks, as well as groping them in the middle of the dance floor.

Mann said as many as 40 volunteers, coaches and staff were supervising the hundreds of athletes there.

“It was just in a crowded area and some idiots decided they would try to get away with something,” Mann said, who added the room was not dimly lit but did have dozens of kids streaming in and out of it.

The dance portion was stopped shortly after the claims were made to supervisors.

READ MORE: Full coverage of the 2018 Cowichan BC Summer Games

READ MORE: VIDEO – A look back at the 2018 Games, July 19-22

Mann said the BC Games Society contacted the RCMP with the reported allegations on Sunday. Staff also sent letters to the parents and guardians of each girl who reported the unwanted touching with RCMP contact information and victim service support information.

Mann said no suspects have been identified.

“We know they are BC Games athletes, but we don’t know if it’s Billy or Johnny, and because we don’t know their names we don’t know what bloody sport they are in.”

Last weekend’s Games saw 2,300 athletes descend on the Cowichan Valley to compete in 18 different sports. Athletes ranged in age from as young as 10 years old to 17, aside from Special Olympics athletes who could be older.

Mann couldn’t confirm the ages of the alleged victims, but did say none are 10 years old, nor Special Olympics athletes.

“If an athlete is found to be in violation of the code of conduct, we have a zero tolerance for this kind of thing,” he said. “This is no way how the Cowichan Games should be remembered.”

Anyone with information on the inciden is asked to contact the Duncan-North Cowichan RCMP at 250-748-5522.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

‘Police are ready’ for legal pot, say Canadian chiefs

But Canadians won’t see major policing changes as pot becomes legal

10 things still illegal in the new age of recreational cannabis

Pot is legal – but there are still a lot of rules, and breaking some could leave you in jail

CCRD Candidates detail their election platforms

More candidate profiles to come….

SD49 School Board Trustee Candidates outline their platforms

SD49 School Board Trustee Candidates will be participating in an All Candidates Forum tonight at NES

Ministry seeking feedback on proposed Anahim Lake to Vanderhoof connector

The proposed new road would connect and upgrade existing forestry roads between Anahim Lake and Vanderhoof on Highway 16

VIDEO: How to roll a joint

The cannabis connoisseur shares his secrets to rolling the perfect joint

Puff, puff, pass: Cannabis is officially legal across Canada

B.C. has only one bricks-and-mortar marijuana store

After 50 years, ‘Sesame Street’ Big Bird puppeteer retiring

The puppeteer who has played Big Bird on “Sesame Street” is retiring after nearly 50 years on the show.

Britain, EU decide to take some time in getting Brexit right

Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said “we need much time, much more time and we continue to work in the next weeks.”

Parole denied for convicted killer-rapist Paul Bernardo after 25 years in prison

Paul Bernardo plead for release on Wednesday by arguing he has done what he could to improve himself during his 25 years in prison.

Man holds newborn son for first time after devastating B.C. racetrack crash

Kayden was born the day after Jonathan was crushed by car at speedway

Smooth start to legal cannabis in B.C., Mike Farnworth says

Online and government store makes 4,000 sales by noon

Commercial diver drowns in Hecate Strait

WorkSafeBC and BC Coroners Service are investigating the diving incident south of Dewdney Island

B.C. Lions look to cement CFL playoff spot with victory over Eskimos

B.C. can cement a post-season berth in the wild West Division on Friday night with a home win over the Edmonton Eskimos

Most Read