Two suspects in Vanier Residence assaults appear in court

Two men facing 11 charges each in connection with sexual assaults at York’s Vanier Residence on Sept. 7 appeared in court yesterday. The court imposed a publication ban on the proceedings.

The Toronto Police Service received information Sept. 21 that led investigators to identify and arrest the second man wanted in connection with the assaults. Police said Justin David Connort, 25, of Toronto is charged with five counts of break and enter, two counts of sexual assault, two counts of gang sexual assault and two counts of forcible confinement.

Alex Bilyk, York’s director of media relations, said there was no record of Connort being currently registered as a student or of him graduating from York.

On Sept. 19, police arrested Daniel Katsnelson, 25, of Thornhill, on identical charges after he turned himself in. Katsnelson graduated from York in 2006 with a BA.

Police said two suspects committed two sexual assaults and attempted a third assault in the early morning hours of Sept. 7 at Vanier Residence on York’s Keele campus. The suspects also entered three other rooms but were scared off.

Anyone who may have information that may assist the police is asked to contact the Toronto Police Service Sex Crimes Unit directly at 416-808-7474 or Crime Stoppers at 416-222-TIPS (8477).

In their announcements of the arrests, police thanked York University, the community and the media for the support they received with the ongoing investigation.

In the wake of the assaults, York University implemented extra security measures, including:

  • effective doubling of York security patrols.
  • increasing staffing at Vanier Residence.
  • increasing staffing at other residences on campus.
  • heightened on-campus presence by the Toronto Police Service.
  • postering across campus, reminding students to be vigilant.
  • alerts issued through all channels, including Web sites, direct e-mails and ongoing contact with student government and associations.
  • on-site counselling for students.

York Security Services can be contacted at 416-736-5333 or ext. 33333. Please refer to the York Security Web site for more information or further updates: