Athlete Accused of Sexual Assault

By Sara Faruqi, Toronto Police Service Published: 2:45 p.m. July 24, 2015
Updated: 10:46 a.m. July 31, 2015

A member of the Brazilian Pan Am water polo team is under investigation after an allegation of sexual assault against a 22-year-old Toronto woman on July 16.

A woman at a podium beside a photo of a man on a TV with reporters with video and still cameras looking on
Inspector Joanna Beaven-Desjardins speaks to reporters at a news conference regarding an allegation of sexual assault against a Pan Am athlete

A warrant has been issued for Thye Mattos Ventura Bezerra, 27, who was in Toronto to participate in the 2015 Pan Am Games, according to Sex Crimes Inspector Joanna Beaven-Desjardins. 

According to police, Bezerra was in the home of the victim with another member of the water polo team. Along with the two men a friend of the victim was present. 

The victim went to sleep in her bedroom alone and was then allegedly sexually assaulted. According to Beaven-Desjardins, the two men then left the residence of the victim. The suspect’s friend is not considered a suspect in the investigation so far. 

Speaking to media, Beavan-Desjardins said police identified Bezerra after conducting an investigation but he had already left the country at that point. 

Bezerra left for Brazil on July 16, as scheduled, with his team.  Canada does not have an extradition treaty with Brazil, but police are in the process of getting an arrest warrant. If the suspect was to enter a country with an extradition treaty with Canada, he could be arrested. 

“The best-case scenario is if he comes back to Toronto and faces the charges,” said Beaven-Desjardins.

A close up of a man
Thye Mattos Ventura Bezerra, 27, is wanted for sexual assault

Police are encouraging any other affected individuals to come forward. 

“We encourage all affected individuals to come forward. We want to make sure they have access to support services regardless of whether they want to proceed criminally,” said the Inspector. 

She said that Bezerra was in the downtown core and the assault also took place downtown. He was competing in Markham for the games. 

A sexual assault is any form of unwanted sexual contact. It includes, but is not limited to, kissing, grabbing, oral sex and penetration. To learn more about sexual assault, including how to report a sexual assault, please visit our Sex Crimes website.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-7474, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at  222tips.com, text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637), or Leave A Tip on Facebook.


Inspector Joanna Beaven-Desjardins speaks about a man wanted for sexual assault
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