University fires head of sexual assault center for denying October 7th rapes

University of Alberta official had criticized ‘repeated the unverified accusation that Palestinians were guilty of sexual violence.’

By World Israel News Staff

University of Alberta President Bill Flanagan announced on Saturday the firing of the director of a campus sexual assault center after she denied testimony of Hamas sexual crimes on October 7th, according to The Edmonton Journal.

Samantha Pearson used both her name and the sexual assault center as signatories in a letter and a petition which was titled, “Stand with Palestine: Call on Political Leaders to End Their Complicity in Genocide.”

The letter criticized New Democratic Party leader Jagmeet Singh, who, according to the letter, “repeated the unverified accusation that Palestinians were guilty of sexual violence.”

The authors of the letter were city councilor in Victoria, Susan Kim, and Sarah Jama, an Ontario provincial parliament member who was banned from the New Democratic Party after calling Israel an “apartheid” state and denying Hamas atrocities just three days after the October 7th massacre.

The Jewish Federation of Edmonton took issue with the letter, particularly with the phrase, “unverified accusation” in connection to testimony about October 7th rapes and sexual assaults.

In an X post, the organization wrote, “Shouldn’t a sexual assault centre believe all victims, and not just the non-Jewish ones?”

In an X post, the University of Alberta wrote, “The recent improper and unauthorized use of the name of the [university]’s Sexual Assault Centre in endorsing an open letter has raised understandable concerns from members of our community and the public.”

University president Flanagan announced that Pearson’s dismissal as head of the campus sexual assault center was “effective immediately” and that Pearson “is no longer employed by the university.”

“The University of Alberta stands firmly and unequivocally against discrimination and hatred on the basis of religion, race, ethnicity, national origin, and other protected categories,” Flanagan wrote, specifically identifying antisemitism.