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London police to conduct internal review into 2 sexual assault investigations, chief says

The side of a London police vehicle. Sawyer Bogdan / Global News

The chief of the London Police Service says the force will conduct an internal review into two sexual assault investigations dating back to 2018.

In a statement Friday, Chief Steve Williams said in September of 2019, the force investigated two allegations of sexual assault.

“The same complainant initiated both investigations,” Williams wrote.

According to Williams, the allegations were in connection with incidents that occurred in March of 2018.

In one of the investigations, a sexual assault charge was laid.

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“That charge went through the court process resulting in the issuance of a Peace Bond,” Williams said.

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He said charges were not laid in connection with the other investigation.

“Given recent media reporting related to these matters, I have directed an internal review of the investigations,” Williams said. “That review has commenced.”

Williams’ statement comes a day after a TSN report was published, which said a woman alleged she had been sexually assaulted by two men — one a Western University hockey player, the other a minor-league pro player — at a home in London, Ont., in March of 2018.

The woman told TSN that London police had discouraged her from pressing charges.

In his statement, Williams said the force utilizes a “victim-centered, trauma-informed approach” in all sexual assault investigations, which “respects the wishes of complainants.”

He said in all cases — except those dealing with intimate partners — victims of sexual assault are given the choice on whether they want to proceed with charges.

“Where a victims has declined to proceed with a charge, the investigation is finalized with the option to re-open the investigation at a later date should the victim change their mind,” the statement read.

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