DNA Link to Three Sex Assaults
They now need the public’s help in getting a name they could match to the suspect.
On Tuesday July 28, 2015 at around 1 a.m. in the Dufferin St. and Rogers Rd. area, a 23-year-old woman was approached from behind by a man, dragged into a laneway and sexually assaulted. A weapon was indicated at the time, but not seen.
The male offender is described as brown, mid-20s, 5’5” to 5’6” with a slight beard. At the time of the assault, he was wearing a black baseball hat, zippered hooded sweater with white drawstrings, black T-shirt and black baggy jeans.
At a news conference at police headquarters on August 15, Supt. Pauline Gray, who is in charge of the Sex Crimes & Homicide units, said investigators gleaned a DNA profile of the offender from this assault.
The second incident occurred in Collingwood and is being investigated by the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP).
“We have worked and continue to work together on this investigation with their team,” said Gray.
On January 1, 2017 at approximately 1.50 a.m., officers from the Collingwood OPP detachment responded to a report that a 17-year-old girl was pulled into a vehicle by a man and sexually assaulted. Once again, a weapon was indicated but not seen and there was markedly more violence in this assault that occurred on Birch St. at Second St.
From the ensuing investigation, OPP investigators determined that the man was described as brown, late 20s to early 30s, average build with a large mid-section, thin beard, 5’6” to 5’7”, wearing a blue T-shirt, black pants and black baseball cap with a white logo.
“It was at this time that the two assaults were linked through DNA and the police services began to work together,” Gray said.
The third incident occurred on July 15, 2019. Shortly after 10.25 p.m., a 28-year-old woman ordered a ride share service for a pick-up along Lakeshore Blvd. near Exhibition Grounds.
“A vehicle slowed alongside her as she walked along, she got into the vehicle after asking if it was the ride she had ordered and the driver led her to believe he was her ride share driver,” said Gray. “The offender then drove her to a parking lot in the area of Jane St. and Eglinton Ave. W. and sexually assaulted her, making death threats as he did so. The offender then drove away from the area at a high rate of speed.”
The suspect is described by the survivor as 25-35, brown complexion, approximately 5’7” to 5’9” with a small build and a short beard. The vehicle is described as possibly grey, silver or black with four doors.
Investigators believe that the man suffered an eye injury during this attack.
“I am asking anoyone working in a hospital, clinic, doctor or optometrist office or pharmacy that may have encountered someone with a similar description and injury shortly after the July 15 occurrence to contact police,” said Gray. “We would also like to hear from anyone who may have been around the Exhibition Grounds on the evening of Monday, July 16, 2019 who may have noticed this suspect or had any interaction with him.”
Gray added that police are concerned that, given the span of time between these three incidents, that other sexual assaults committed by the offender have gone unreported.
Det. Insp. Shawn Glassford of the OPP attended the news conference.
“The biggest question for us is why Collingwood,” said the OPP’s Multijurisdictional Major Case Manager. “We looked at all kinds of different reasons as part of our investigations. Working together with Toronto, we are trying to figure it all out.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-7474, the OPP at 1-888-310-1122, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at 222tips.com or text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637). Download the free Crime Stoppers Mobile App on iTunes, Google Play or Blackberry App World.