Updated September 27, 2014.
A McGill Redmen football player, suspended from the team on September 24, was arraigned in court last Thursday after being arrested on charges of armed robbery, uttering threats, and assault the previous day. While the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) would not confirm the identity of the player, multiple outlets have reported that it is 22-year-old running back Luis-Andres Guimont-Mota who is facing charges.
“[On September 24] at 11:45 a.m. there was a 911 call concerning domestic violence inside an apartment block on Jeanne-Mance near Prince-Arthur and the 22-year-old man was arrested in that case,” SPVM media relations officer Danny Richer told The Daily. Guimont-Mota was taken into custody after the incident and released on bail on September 25.
According to Richer, the victim was a 21-year-old woman who was told to seek medical attention at the scene. Richer confirmed that the two knew each other, and other outlets have reported that the victim was Guimont-Mota’s wife.
According to a February 2013 La Presse article, Guimont-Mota was in the process of serving a ninety-day prison sentence for aggravated assault, which the judge allowed Guimont-Mota to serve on Sundays so as not to interfere with Saturday games and training.
On September 24, Deputy Provost (Student Life and Learning) Ollivier Dyens released a statement announcing that the player had been suspended from the team pending the outcome of his case in court.
“The Office of the Deputy Provost (Student Life and Learning) will actively investigate the matter. In line with the values and policies of McGill University, we will take any and all measures that are deemed to be appropriate,” read the statement.
In a statement released September 25, the Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU) executive reacted to the arrest. “[SSMU] is disturbed by the breaking reports of the charging of a member of the McGill Redmen football team with uttering threats, armed robbery, and aggravated assault relating to an incident of domestic violence.”
The University’s reaction to this case is much timelier than another recent case involving charges against McGill football players. In July 2012, three players were charged with sexual assault – but to the outrage of many in the McGill community, the University did not publicly acknowledge the charges until November 2013. SSMU commented on the University’s response.
“McGill’s immediate suspension of the player reflects McGill’s willingness to suspend the assumption of innocence pending a final decision when charges are deemed adequately serious. SSMU would like to draw attention to the failure of the University to invoke these measures following the charging of three McGill football players with sexual assault last year.”
SSMU also noted that it is in the process of drafting the student-led Sexual Assault Policy. “The suspension is the first step toward reducing harm in the community, but […] SSMU calls for meaningful proactive action now.”
Following SSMU’s statement and additional coverage of Guimont-Mota’s past charges, Dyens released a second statement on September 26 that promised a re-evaluation of regulations that outline varsity sports participation. “There have been a few incidents in recent years where relevant information concerning football players was not dealt with appropriately at McGill. We take responsibility for those errors and are committed to preventing them in the future.”
Dyens told The Daily that it was too soon to specify an exact timeline for the review or who will be involved. “We will start the review very […] soon, because this needs to be looked at.”
—With files from Drew Wolfson Bell