The teen who was assaulted by a Queen’s University student three years ago, when she was 16 years old, said it’s “ridiculous” that the school would invite her assailant to guest lecture during a business class.
Chance Macdonald, 23, who formerly attended school and played junior hockey, was convicted of assault in April 2017. However, he was not sentenced until September of that year because the judge presiding over the case, who also attended Queen’s and played hockey, did not want Macdonald’s sentence to interfere with his internship at Deloitte.
Macdonald, who was initially charged with sexual assault and forcible confinement, pleaded down to common assault. He was sentenced to 88 days of intermittent jail on weekends and two years of probation. After Macdonald's sentencing made headlines last fall, Deloitte announced that he was no longer working for them, and his LinkedIn profile disappeared. Despite the university releasing a statement expressing dismay that Macdonald was a Queen’s student around the time he was sentenced, a faculty member at Queen’s invited Macdonald to speak to a business class in May.
As first reported by the Kingstonist, Macdonald, who now uses the first name Andrew, was invited to a business class as a guest lecturer on cryptocurrency.
In a statement, Queen’s said Macdonald’s participation in the class was “unfortunate.”
“The University shares and sympathizes with the emotions that people were expressing about the original incident. Similarly, the University shares the concerns about the May 2018 speaking event,” the statement said. It noted that individual faculty members have the freedom to invite guest speakers “where they feel those guests will add to the class.”
The school said the faculty involved are reviewing its process around guest speakers. Macdonald was not paid to be a speaker.
Macdonald’s victim Jodie* told VICE she doesn’t understand why the school would invite Macdonald to guest lecture. (VICE is using a pseudonym because there is a publication ban protecting Jodie’s identity.)
“I don’t think it’s fair he should be getting more opportunities,” she said.
She told VICE her life has been deeply impacted by the assault, and that she’s riddled with crippling anxiety that recently caused her to drop out of college. She also said she missed so much school in Grade 12, due to dealing with court dates and other issues relating to the case, that several universities who had accepted her rescinded their offers. She had been planning to attend the University of Ottawa.
Jodie was 16 when she was invited to a “rookie party” for at a house in Queen's student district in 2015. Macdonald played for the Gananoque Islanders Junior C hockey team at the time.
According to Crown Attorney Gerard Laarhuis, the party included an “initiation ceremony that includes getting the junior players laid.” Jodie was invited to the party by one of the players.
During the party, Macdonald allegedly walked in on Jodie and the boy she was with, and started talking about wanting to do cocaine and wanting to have a threesome. She told police she said "no" to a threesome.
Later, while Jodie was upstairs with the boy who'd invited her, Macdonald came in with other team members, and allegedly forced her into a reclining position and tried to kiss her, which she tried to deflect. During this time, someone turned the lights off, and Jodie said she felt someone's hand fondle her breasts under her shirt while she believes Macdonald pulled her pants down and groped her.
Jodie told police that a teenage boy in the room pulled out his penis and asked her for oral sex. She said Macdonald's weight—he was more than 200 pounds at the time and is six-foot-three—prevented her from getting away. Eventually, one of her girlfriends walked in and turned on the lights, stopping the assault. But after Jodie and her friend locked themselves in a bathroom, she said Macdonald walked in and forced himself on her friend, kissing her.
Jodie told VICE she didn’t want to deal with the public scrutiny that would come with testifying, which is why she ended up agreeing to drop the more serious charges. After the assault happened, she kept it from her parents for a long time, even though she reported it to police. However, she said she didn’t realize her testimony to police would wind up the papers anyway.
“In one of the paragraphs, I talked about hockey players,” she said.
Jodie said the rookie party she attended was “crazy.” She said she witnessed people drinking live goldfish, running around naked, and chugging 26-ers of booze.
In his sentencing decision, Justice Letourneau seemed to deeply empathize with Macdonald, noting his excellence "in employment, in athletics, and in academics." He also said, "I played extremely high-end hockey and I know the mob mentality that can exist in that atmosphere."
Sports culture is under scrutiny right now, in light of the alleged sexual assaults and assaults at St. Michael’s College School in Toronto and subsequent discussions around hazing.
Jodie said prior to the assault she was always an honours student. But she now struggles with depression and anxiety. She took a year off after high school to try to heal, and started at a local college.
“I found starting in September brought back a lot of the high school memories,” she said. “I ended up having to drop out last week.”
She said she has contacted two the publications Macdonald writes about cryptocurrencies for, and one has agreed not to publish his work anymore.
Follow Manisha Krishnan on Twitter.
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