Spotted at Mac followers may have gotten more than they bargained for when a post surfaced yesterday afternoon about an alleged sexual assault of a McMaster student.
An anonymous post made the claim that a student went to a bar with a man she met at Mills who then forced himself on her after a few drinks. She included a photo of the alleged assailant, which we have blurred to protect the identity of the involved, until a formal investigation is underway, and claimed to have made a report to the police afterwards.
Police cannot confirm whether any investigation is yet underway but urge students to come forward if they are victims of assault crimes.
“It would be difficult for us to identify that person, so unless we have a compliant victim, it is difficult for us to do our job. As difficult as it is, we do need victims to come forward and that’s part of our constant challenge of educating the public, of creating that awareness that we’re here to help. We would hope that it is not just done anonymously on those types of platforms, that they would please try and find the courage to call the police and report it, so it can be dealt with,” said Jenny McGreal, Media Relations Officer at Hamilton Police Services.
McMaster Security Services had not been contacted at the time of reporting by the police or the supposed victim.
The Spotted at Mac page has, as of late, become a platform for a form of vigilante awareness, with a post appearing earlier this year in which someone posted a picture their phone automatically took of a supposed thief, in an effort to try and get McMaster students to crowdsource an identification effort.
“News media is no longer the opinions of reporters and editors, it’s becoming more democratized,” said the Spotted at Mac admin of the anonymous Facebook group.
“Most people are thanking the original poster for keeping them informed of potential danger on campus. The benefits of the warning far outweigh the possible margin of error.”
The commenters on the post pointed out a potential danger that could occur with this kind of awareness, with one user saying, “technically anyone could post a picture of someone claiming they hurt them and we have no way to tell for sure. Now I’m not saying the person is lying but these matters are probably better handled by the police.”
The post can be seen under this article, and we will update as any potential police investigation comes to our attention.
TRIGGER WARNING: Victims of sexual assault should tread lightly as the post describes the encounter in fair detail.