Former U of M jazz professor charged with sexual assault
Published Tuesday, September 11, 2018 12:01PM CST
Last Updated Tuesday, September 11, 2018 4:31PM CST
A former University of Manitoba jazz professor has been charged with sexual assault.
Steve Kirby, 62, was arrested on May 9, 2018 nearly one year after a woman lodged a complaint with the Winnipeg Police Service.
Winnipeg police confirmed Tuesday morning members of its Sex Crimes Unit started investigating in June 2017.
Const. Tammy Skrabek said officers got involved after a female student, enrolled in the U of M’s music program, reported she was sexually assaulted by her jazz professor on a number of occasions between September 2014, when she was 19, and January 2017.
“When our sex crimes unit, or any other unit, gets information regarding something like this case that is somewhat historical, has gone back, there’s an investigation that has to occur and that takes a certain amount of time,” said Skrabek. “That’s interviewing witnesses whose memories may or may not be that clear, it’s tracking down some of these people, it’s making sure that those charges can be substantiated.”
“Investigators went through that entire process. Before we could actually lay charges and arrest Mr. Kirby the Crown was consulted to ensure that what investigators had was in fact enough to actually proceed with charges in court.”
Skrabek said Kirby was contacted by officers about the matter, turned himself into police at the time of his arrest and is cooperating with investigators. He was released on a promise to appear.
The case is set to go trial in June 2019.
The matter has been before the courts six times between June and September but police didn’t make the charge public until Tuesday, Skrabek said, because officers wanted to wait until Kirby was officially charged.
“I had drafted this back in May, however, because he was a university professor, to say that a professor at the university was arrested would identify him both before charges were laid in court as well as the victim,” said Skrabek. “So, we felt very strongly at that time that it wasn’t prudent to identify either party and to release this information.”
“Investigators were satisfied there was no immediate danger to any other people at the time so we felt safe in doing so.”
Skrabek said she wasn’t immediately made aware of Kirby’s first court date this past June and that it took some time to confirm that information.
Police said no further victims have come forward.
When reached via phone by CTV Winnipeg Kirby’s lawyer Richard Wolson declined comment on matter.