Victims advocates say lengthy sexual assault investigations not unusual after former UBC athletes charged

Sexual assault charges against three former UBC athletes are now making their way through the court system, more than two years after the initial complaint to police.

Former UBC Thunderbird football players 24-year-old Ben Cummings, 25-year-old Trivel Pinto, and 26-year-old Treymont Levy are charged with sexual assault. Levy also faces an additional charge of voyeurism.

None of the allegations have been tested in court.

UBC RCMP said they received a 911 call on Nov. 5, 2018 from a woman who reported being assaulted by three men at a residence on Acadia Road in Vancouver.

“The University RCMP immediately launched an investigation and sought assistance and expertise from the BC RCMP Major Crime Section (MCS), who took conduct of the investigation” the RCMP said in a news release.

Victims advocate Hilla Kerner told CTV News it’s not unusual for sexual assault investigations to take years.

“We believe that its a matter of priority,” Kerner said. “For many young victims, they put their lives on hold for years until the criminal justice system responds and acts and there is a trial.”

Kerner says in her experience, charges often do not result from such investigations.

Last year, the mother of a young woman who reported being raped at a UBC frat party in 2018 spoke out after the Crown decided not to lay charges.

“Unfortunately, most cases will never result in charges,” Kerner said. “In British Columbia, we have a particular problem of a very high threshold. The prosecutor will only take cases that they’re confident that they will get a conviction.”

The B.C. Prosecution Service said the standard to approve charges was not met on that file. Kerner said the case was reviewed by Crown again, but they reached the same conclusion.

The case involving the former UBC football players returns to Richmond provincial court June 16.