Volume 94, Issue 26

Tuesday, October 17, 2000


NEWS

BOG candidates take the stage at forum

Police nab York stalker suspect

Love Inc. finds no love in low turnout

BOG candidate faces election fines

The London front almost quiet

Baryshnik raising student concerns

Funded housing now under municipalities

Corroded Disorder

Police nab York stalker suspect

By Chris Lackner
Gazette Staff



Students at York University can breathe a collective sigh of relief now that a suspect believed to have committed five sexual assaults in the campus area has been arrested.

Sgt. Jim Muscat, corporate communications officer for the Toronto Police Department, confirmed police arrested 18-year-old Philip Forensky on Thursday night. Muscat said the youth faces 11 charges, including robbery and sexual assault with a weapon. He confirmed all alleged attacks had taken place on pathways near the York campus since July 21.

He explained police recently executed a search warrant at Forensky's home and recovered evidence which will be made available before the court. A trial date has not yet been set, Muscat added.

Muscat cited video footage of the suspect, taken at a nearby gas station and tips from the Toronto community, as the main factors leading to Forensky's arrest.

He said the Toronto Police's sexual assault task force will still have a prominent presence on the York campus in order to collect further evidence.

"Until this case goes to trial and there's a resolution in the court then this thing is far from over," Muscat said.

Hasrat Gafoor, president of the York Federation of Students, said the YFS is pushing the York administration to develop long-term strategies in campus security to prevent a similar situation from occurring again.

Gafoor said initiatives such as changes to the student foot patrol program, better lighting on campus and increased campus security, were some of the preventive measures which could be taken in the future.

Sine Mackinnon, a spokesperson for York University, said the administration was pleased with the apprehension of a suspect, but warned the York community to remain cautious and take notice of the safety recommendations posted around campus.

Ted Carroll, director of security services at York, said he commended the amount of time and resources the TPD put into their investigation.

"It's safe to say there is a heightened sense of safety issues on campus," Carroll said.


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Copyright The Gazette 2000