Police in Victoria say they've been contacted by "numerous people" since appealing to the public for information about sexual assaults allegedly committed by a former worker at a downtown restaurant.
Victoria police put out the appeal for information on Monday. In an update Wednesday evening, the department issued a statement saying detectives with its special victims unit had begun an investigation.
“The response from the public has been amazing," said Victoria police detective Sgt. Jan Malinosky in the news release. “We have had many people come forward with information. Our Investigative Services Division team is working through this information and are connecting with these people to gather more details. This process takes time and we’re asking for patience moving forward. We are here to listen and are hoping to connect with more survivors."
Tuesday night, a crowd gathered outside Chuck's Burger Bar to show support for the victims of the assaults. Many also called for the restaurant's closure, saying management knew about the employee's behaviour.
Chuck’s has denied any knowledge of previous sexual assault allegations against the employee. Another former employee had raised concerns about the man in 2019, but the restaurant says that incident was resolved and the man was reprimanded.
"Had we received any prior complaints of this nature, we would have immediately dismissed this individual," said the restaurant in a statement Monday.
Victoria police say their investigation is active and ongoing, and they urged anyone who has not already been in contact with them to call their non-emergency line at (250) 995-7654, extension 1.