Homicide victim identified as man accused in high-profile sexual assault case

·2 min read
Police conduct a homicide investigation on Braeside Court in Dartmouth on Sunday. (Nicola Seguin - image credit)
Police conduct a homicide investigation on Braeside Court in Dartmouth on Sunday. (Nicola Seguin - image credit)

The victim of a homicide in Dartmouth early Saturday has been identified as a man accused in a high-profile sexual assault case.

Halifax Regional Police identified the man as 35-year-old Alexander Joseph Frederick Thomas from East Preston on Sunday.

Thomas was arrested in February 2020, nearly two years after a Halifax woman alleged she was abducted outside a Dartmouth, N.S., bar in May 2018 and raped by at least two men.

Carrie Low has since been vocal about her experience and how the Halifax police systemically mishandled the investigation. Last April, a Nova Scotia Supreme Court judge ordered the Office of the Police Complaints Commissioner to re-examine the case.

Thomas had been awaiting trial on charges of sexual assault and forcible confinement. He was expected back in court early this week.

Low is represented by lawyers from the Elizabeth Fry Society of Mainland Nova Scotia, an organization that advocates for women who are incarcerated or victims of violence.

Emma Halpern, executive director of the local chapter of Elizabeth Fry, said Low heard of Thomas's death from police on Sunday.

"It's incredibly shocking," Halpern said. "It's been a really difficult couple of days [for Low]. There has been so many twists and turns in her story and the experience that she's had over the last three years of trying to bring justice in this case."

Halpern said since Thomas was the only person charged, the criminal trial will not be going forward.

However, Low is also involved in a civil case against the Halifax Regional Police, and a police complaint process, which Halpern believes will continue.

"All of this [is] under the cloud of trauma related to someone's murder and death and how that must just be impacting his family and community," she said.

"[Low has] tremendous sympathy for Mr. Thomas's family. There's a person who has passed, and that's always tragic."

Death ruled a homicide

Early Saturday, officers were called to a home on Braeside Court in Dartmouth about a report of an unresponsive man.

Thomas was found dead inside the home, and police considered the death suspicious.

Nicola Seguin
Nicola Seguin

Police say the Nova Scotia Medical Examiner Service conducted an autopsy Saturday night and ruled the death a homicide.

The investigation is ongoing and police are still at the residence as of Sunday morning.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call police at 902-490-5020.

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