Youth arrested for public masturbation on UVic campus

Not clear if incident connected to pair of recent gropings of joggers on campus, or multiple indecent acts earlier this summer

The indecent incident that sparked a recent arrest happened on the UVic campus near Gordon Head Road.

Saanich Police have arrested a youth for public masturbation at the University of Victoria, the latest in a handful of indecent acts around the campus.

On Sunday, around 6 p.m., a young woman walking on a trail near Gordon Head Road noticed the youth masturbating in the bushes. Campus Security responded and located the suspect, with Saanich Police making the arrest.

The incident follows two other similar reports to the Oak Bay Police, and is just two months removed from a string of sexual assaults in the Gordon Head area.

“We’re taking a look at the Oak Bay incidents and also some incidents in Saanich as well from earlier this year,” said Saanich Police acting Sgt. Jereme Leslie. Leslie said police are recommending one charge of performing an indecent act against the youth. “We’ll be looking at all available evidence and seeing whether or not we’re able to meet the charge approval standard that Crown counsel has and forwarding charges if appropriate.”

Prior to the arrest, Oak Bay Police received two reports of assaults on women jogging nearby or on UVic’s campus.

A 43-year-old woman told police a man had tried to grab her while she was jogging near Ring Road on Monday, Sept. 5 around 6:45 a.m. When she confronted the man, she said he got on a mountain bike and rode away. She also noted the same man had approached her the day before after emerging from some bushes, but turned away.

On Saturday, an 18-year-old woman told police that a man grabbed her buttocks while she was jogging along a trail at UVic shortly before 8 p.m. Similarly, he was riding a road bike with a skateboard attached to the back and a Bluetooth speaker on the handlebars, which was playing rap music.

In the Sept. 5 incident, the suspect was described as being in his 20s and wearing a black hoodie. In the Sept. 10 incident, the suspect was described as 19 to 21 years old, five-foot-seven, wearing a grey baseball hat backwards and grey track pants.

Anyone with information about these or other incidents is asked to call Saanich Police at 250-475-4321.

Earlier this summer Saanich Police issued multiple reports of indecent acts that potentially could be attributed to the same suspect. As many as 11 recorded instances happened between early July and July 18.

In those cases the suspect is described as 20 to 30 years old, Caucasian with either darker skin or a darker complexion and shorter in stature. That suspect wore baseball hats, bandanas or a (green) bicycle helmet and was riding a bicycle or a skateboard.