Investigation into alleged sexual assaults by restaurant worker is interprovincial, police say
VICTORIA -- “I woke up with bruises all over my legs and not remembering what happened,” said one woman who wanted to remain anonymous.
It’s stories like these from numerous women who have come forward, claiming to have been sexually assaulted by a former employee of Chuck’s Burger Bar in downtown Victoria, that prompted the Victoria Police Department to open an investigation.
"Detectives with our special victims unit and a number of resources are dedicated to investigating this file and to investigate these allegations,” said VicPD Const. Cam Macintyre.
CTV News has learned the accusations against the former employee stretch across the country to Ontario.
Danyelle Markland filed a personal injury lawsuit in 2017 against the man Chuck’s Burger Bar recently fired amid a flurry of online accusations. Markland says she worked with the man in Hamilton, Ont. She says he slapped her so hard on her backside that she ended up in the hospital.
“When I went and filled out my incident report, they had it labelled as a sexual assault,” Markland said.
She says her lawyer couldn’t track the man down and he was never served. Markland spent days in pain from the injury that she says he inflicted.
"I ended up being on antibiotics,” said Markland. “Using a portable IV for seven days, which I wore attached to my hip."
After seeing media reports from four provinces away, she posted about her experience on her social media account. That started the conversation in Ontario.
"My inbox has been flooded, absolutely flooded,” said Markland. “I'm going to say I've received just a little bit over 120 messages."
She says 50 to 60 per cent of those messages are stories from women, sharing similar experiences to those shared here in Victoria.
"Girls are sharing their stories with me, sharing pictures of their bruises,” said Markland. “Just sharing that they have actually made a police report and a couple of girls just recently made a police report yesterday."
Victoria police confirmed Thursday that the investigation is interprovincial.
"It is our understanding that there are connections here to Ontario,” said Macintyre. “We have been in contact and had communication with outside agencies in Ontario and that will be a piece of the investigation moving forward."
Back in Ontario, Markland has a message for those who have not yet spoken to police.
"We need everyone to speak out, so that he can not have the opportunity to do this to any more people," said Markland.
The man at the centre of all the allegations was fired this week by Chuck’s Burger Bar. Supporters of the women held a protest there Tuesday night and the burger bar remains closed.
No one has been charged in relation to any of the allegations, which have not been tested in court.