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

Election 2018: Kim Richter withdraws from mayor’s race, runs for council instead

In a Facebook post, Richter announced she will seek another term on Township council

Langley trampoline gymnast off to Peru for world qualifiers

The gymnastics club is holding an open house this Saturday, Aug. 18, with free drop-in sessions.

VIDEO: Langley RCMP officer and brother lead Amazing Race Canada Heroes Edition

Courtney and Taylor Callens have become the team to beat

B.C. declares state of emergency as more than 560 wildfires rage

This is only the fourth state of emergency ever issued during a fire season

Trinity Western men’s soccer team starts California trip with a win

Spartans use their ability to execute on set pieces to claim a 3-2 victory

‘Queen of Soul’ Aretha Franklin has died

Publicist Gwendolyn Quinn reports Franklin passed Thursday at 9:50 a.m. at her home in Detroit

Missing B.C. hiker, dog found safe after 3-day search

Cranbrook hiker had been missing since Sunday, August 12, near Jumbo Pass.

UPDATED: B.C. RCMP dismantle Kinder Morgan protest camp

RCMP say they will enforce a court injunction today and remove Trans Mountain pipeline protesters who have been camped outside a Kinder Morgan terminal in Burnaby.

5 to start your day

RCMP evict Kinder Morgan protest camp, two girls go on a nighttime bus adventure and more

Italy says death toll will mount in Genoa bridge collapse

Authorities worried about the stability of remaining large sections of a partially collapsed bridge evacuated about 630 people from nearby apartments.

Former CIA Director: Trump worked with Russians and now he’s desperate

In an opinion piece in The New York Times, John Brennan cites press reports and Trump’s own goading of Russia during the campaign to find Democrat Hillary Clinton’s missing emails.

Church sex scandal: Abuse victims want a full reckoning

Since the crisis exploded in Boston in 2002, dioceses around the country have dealt with similar revelations of widespread sexual abuse.

Baloney Meter: is flow of asylum seekers at Canada-U.S. border a ‘crisis’?

“I think any time you have a government that allows 30,000 people over the course of a short period of time to come into Canada illegally, the impact that that has, that is a crisis,” said Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer.

UPDATE: Baby in stable condition after truck crashes into Surrey home

A 57-year-old man who was driving the truck was taken into police custody, but has since been released

Most Read