Volume 95, Issue 13

Friday, September 21, 2001
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Sexual deviants loose on campus

United Way sets lofty goal

Space cadet leads Ivey students

Computational fluid dynamics?

Sexual deviants loose on campus

By Joel Brown
Gazette Staff

Despite several sightings of naked, masturbating men at various on-campus locations during daytime hours, police have not been able to solve the mysterious incidents.

Including the latest two reports of sightings near TD Waterhouse Stadium last week, there have been eight reported incidents of undressed males sexually gratifying themselves during late afternoon hours over this past summer, police said.

While many of the witnesses have seen a white male masturbator wearing nothing but a plastic bag over his head for a mask, police are doubtful the same person is behind all of the incidents.

"We've seen a variance in the suspects, I wouldn't at all suggest one person is responsible," said Constable Wendy McGowan of the University Police Department.

In one case, a man with brown hair wearing only socks was named as the offender.

Between June and August, three cases were reported at both the Brescia College/Saugeen-Maitland Hall area and the Medway parking lot behind Elgin Hall. McGowan said the incidents have taken place in the less travelled areas on campus and the masturbator usually performs his act in bushes.

Near the beginning of the school year, a naked man was apprehended by police near Brecia College after being spotted by an off-duty police officer.

The nude man was arrested, but police, who wanted to charge him with public nudity, could not pursue the matter any further due to their inability to get permission from the provincial Attorney General, according to Const. Ryan Holland of the London Police. Clearance is required by the Criminal Code, but could not be obtained for various unspecified reasons and the man had to be released, Holland said.

He said the suspect could not be linked to any other occurrences and noted there were no indications he was the same man who had been spotted near Brescia previously.

In July, one witness saw a naked man standing in waist-high grass while she was walking along the Thames River path towards the WhiteHall apartment building on Richmond Street.

"My first instincts made me think it was deer because there had been a lot of sightings of them at the time," said the on-campus research assistant, who wished to remain anonymous. "But I looked over and found out it wasn't Bambi.

"He was wearing a mask made out of what looked to be a plastic milk bag and he didn't look like he had pants on and I didn't notice if he was masturbating, but I didn't stick around long enough to determine for sure."

She said she then called the London Police, but by the time officer arrived, the man was gone.

Holland said London Police now have their community-oriented Response Unit working on the case and have extra patrols in areas men have been seen in the past.

As for campus police, McGowan said the school's Parking and Protective Services have been notified and campus and city police have been working together to remedy the situation.

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Copyright The Gazette 2001