Brazilian Pan Am athlete wanted for sexual assault

TORONTO (REUTERS) - A member of the Brazilian men’s water polo team who won a silver medal at the 2015 Pan American Games is wanted on a warrant for sexual assault, Toronto police said on Friday.

Police in the host city for the July 10-26 Pan Am Games said an arrest warrant has been issued for 27-year-old Thye Mattos Ventura Bezerra after a woman was allegedly sexually assaulted.

The substitute goalkeeper and an unnamed team mate, who police do not consider a suspect at this point, allegedly went to the 22-year-old victim’s home with one of her friends.

After the victim went to sleep, Bezerra allegedly entered her bedroom and sexually assaulted her hours before leaving the country, according to police.

“There could be other victims,” Sex Crimes Inspector Joanna Beaven-Desjardins said during a news conference. “That’s why his picture is out in the public.”

Police would not give additional details on the allegations but, in Canada, sexual assault is considered any form of unwanted sexual contact. It includes, but is not limited to, kissing, grabbing, oral sex and penetration.

Bezerra arrived in Toronto on July 3 ahead of the multi-sport competition between countries from North America, Latin America, South America and the Caribbean. He left on July 16, a day after the men’s water polo competition concluded.

The Brazilian men’s water polo team are scheduled to compete in the world championships in Kazan, Russia, with their opening game set for Monday against China.

If Bezerra is in Russia, or plans to travel to Russia, police said there is a chance they can issue a provisional warrant and have him arrested and brought back to Canada.

Police also said Canada does not have an extradition treaty regarding the offence with Brazil but negotiations are under way to have him return to Canada and face the charges.

“If he goes to Brazil, we don’t have a treaty with them at this time,” said Beaven-Desjardins. “But if he goes to another country that does have a treaty he can be arrested.”