Crime

UPDATED: Another Victoria real estate agent accused of sexual assault

Allegations against four real estate agents have been anonymously raised this week

By Jimmy Thomson
March 27, 2021
Crime

UPDATED: Another Victoria real estate agent accused of sexual assault

Allegations against four real estate agents have been anonymously raised this week

By Jimmy Thomson
Mar 27, 2021
James MacDonald / Capital Daily
Crime

UPDATED: Another Victoria real estate agent accused of sexual assault

Allegations against four real estate agents have been anonymously raised this week

By Jimmy Thomson
March 27, 2021
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UPDATED: Another Victoria real estate agent accused of sexual assault
James MacDonald / Capital Daily

Another Victoria real estate agent has been fired over an allegation of sexual assault and sexual harassment.

In two posts in a row on an Instagram account that releases survivors’ stories of sexual misconduct, the agent was named as having sexually assaulted one person and harassed another. Both incidents involved drugs and/or alcohol.

That brings the total to four firings, following similar allegations against three other men—all from the same anonymous Instagram account.

Two of the other real estate agents denied the allegations against them on social media.

The two men named earlier in the week had worked for Engel and Völkers in the past but not for "several years," the company told CTV earlier this week—the men were fired from The Agency following the allegations.

The first accusation against a real estate agent came on Monday. His agency, Prime Real Estate, released a statement on Tuesday.

"Our entire team was caught off guard by the allegation and just became aware of another one today," the statement from co-owner Susan Froher reads. "As a survivor, I personally know how difficult it is to report sexualized violence, and I commend those who spoke publicly to bring an important issue to the community's attention."

The realtor's own business Facebook page has been removed.

The owner of Engel and Völkers in Oak Bay said in a statement the company has cut its ties with the agent named in Friday's allegations.

“In recent days, the Victoria real estate sector has been shocked by several allegations of sexual impropriety. This has been difficult for our community, our industry and our staff. In addition to today’s action, we have arranged sexual harassment counselling, trauma support and sensitivity training for our entire team along with ongoing resources,”  wrote Scott Piercy, owner and partner at Engel and Völker Vancouver Island, in a statement posted to Instagram and sent to media.

“Sexual harassment and abuse have no place in our society.”

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The accused real estate agent did not respond to emails, phone calls and text messages seeking comment. His Facebook page has been removed. None of the claims against him or the other real estate agents have been proven in court. Victoria police declined to comment.

The Instagram account where the allegations appeared was also the source of accusations of rape and other abuse by the bar manager at Chuck’s Burger Bar in February. In the aftermath of those allegations a movement swept through Victoria’s restaurant and bar scene, forcing the closure of Chuck’s as well as several firings across the industry.

One of the real estate agents named this week is part owner of a popular Victoria bar, The Local. The bar says it too has cut ties with him.

Victoria city councillor Stephen Andrew was briefly embroiled in the ongoing reckoning over sexual assault when he posted on Twitter that he does "not believe there is a 'rape culture'" in the city. He later apologized and deleted the tweet, calling it "clumsy".

Are you in the real estate industry in Victoria? We want to talk to you. Please email tips@capitaldaily.ca

Correction: This article originally stated that three real estate agents had been accused of sexual assault this week. The number is actually four.

This story was updated on March 31 at 2:50pm with new information.

tips@capitaldaily.ca

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