Reward, but no suspects

$4,000 reward fails to elicit new leads in assault investigation

Posters advertising the reward went up on campus.
Posters advertising the reward went up on campus.

Nearly two months after the alleged assault of Queen’s student Danielle d’Entremont, no new leads have emerged in the police investigation. According to a Facebook status she posted, d’Entremont, ArtSci ’14, was assaulted outside her home on March 26 by a male attacker who knew her name. She was punched in the face multiple times and suffered a broken tooth as a result.

Since the attack, a $4,000 reward has been offered for any information leading to an arrest. So far, nothing has surfaced.

“It simply is a fact like many others that either information goes cold or there’s a lack of information or we simply don’t have enough to identify a suspect,” said Steve Koopman, Kingston police media relations officer.

“We are categorizing this as a stranger-on-stranger assault and sometimes when that does occur we don’t give as much descriptors as we prefer.”

An active member of the opposition to Janice Fiamengo’s on-campus talk on March 27, d’Entremont said she had received threatening emails related to her involvement prior to her attack. Fiamengo, a controversial speaker from the University of Ottawa, denied the existence of rape culture at her talk. She also discussed high male suicide rates and sexual assault against men.

D’Entremont posted on Facebook “I can’t say for sure if the two are connected, however the attacker was a male who knew my name,” but later clarified her statement to say that she “place[s] no blame on any particular group,” There has not been an official link drawn between d’Entremont’s opposition to the Men’s Issues Awareness Society event and her assault.

In response to this, Attila Vinczer of Men’s Rights Canada, who is also activism director of men’s rights group A Voice For Men (AVFM), offered $1,000 for information leading to an arrest in the assault on April 17. The reward was matched the same day by Paul Elam, founder of AVFM, as well as the Canadian Association for Equality (CAFE) on April 30 and the Honey Badger Brigade on May 14.

AVFM, CAFE and the Honey Badger Brigade are all organizations supporting men’s rights. CAFE sponsored Fiamengo’s talk at Queen’s.

“I just want to be certain that we do all that we can to find whoever assaulted her, and I just thought that by putting up a reward we may end up getting somebody who will come forward with some information,” Vinczer said.

Elam decided to match Vinczer’s reward before Vinczer had returned from putting up posters in Kingston to advertise the offer.

“If there is a possibility that somebody, even who sympathizes with our views at AVFM, has resorted to violence in retribution of somebody speaking out their mind, then we would very much like to see that person arrested, and if convicted, incarcerated,” Elam said.

He sees feminist response to the reward as lacking, he added.

“We have challenged feminist organizations to match us in funding or to … at least match us in public condemnation of her assault,” he said.

When asked what feminist organizations he was referring to, Elam listed people addressed in an open letter on AVFM’s website, including the University of Toronto Students’ Union, the Ryerson Students’ Union, the Huffington Post and Journal Editor in Chief Vincent Ben Matak.

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