DNA evidence nabs sexual offender 27 years after 'horrific' home invasion and sex assault

·3 min read
Dean Moore appeared in Edmonton Court of Queen's Bench Friday afternoon to plead guilty to sexual assault with a weapon, break and enter and unlawful confinement.   (Trevor Wilson/CBC - image credit)
Dean Moore appeared in Edmonton Court of Queen's Bench Friday afternoon to plead guilty to sexual assault with a weapon, break and enter and unlawful confinement. (Trevor Wilson/CBC - image credit)

It took 27 years, but an Alberta man has finally been sentenced for the crimes he committed in November 1994.

In Edmonton Court of Queen's Bench on Friday afternoon, Dean Moore pleaded guilty to sexual assault with a weapon, break and enter and unlawful confinement.

"There can be no doubt that the facts in this case are horrific," Court of Queen's Bench Justice Paul Belzil said. "It is hard to imagine a person experiencing anything worse."

According to an agreed statement of facts, at 4 a.m. on Nov. 26, 1994, Moore scaled the outside of a west Edmonton apartment building to get to a balcony on the second floor. He was 21 at the time.

A 27-year-old woman was inside her apartment sound asleep. She lived alone. Her name is protected by a court-ordered publication ban.

The woman woke to a stranger standing beside her bed. Moore told her not to look at him as he put two pillowcases over her head and made her place her hands behind her back. He tied a cord around her neck and around her wrists.

Moore began to fondle her at knifepoint, then forced her to parade in front of him in her nightgown.

"He cut the nightie because he wanted her to wear something else," prosecutor Chantelle Washenfelder said.

Moore selected clothes from her closet and forced her to model two more outfits before he cut open her blouse, began to touch her, then forced her onto the bed where he sexually assaulted her.

Afterwards, Moore made the woman step into her bathtub so he could wash her in an attempt to remove evidence.

"He left her in the bathtub tied up, turned on the water and locked the door," Washenfelder said.

"She got herself free twenty minutes later."

Moore stole her bank card and cut her telephone cord before leaving through the front door.

"It is the nightmare of any woman, any vulnerable person who lives alone in our city," Washenfelder said. "Terrorization, injury and theft on his way out the door are all hallmarks of the worst of home invasions."

Despite an extensive police investigation at the time, no suspect was identified.

'She just wants to heal'

In 2020, the case was reopened by the Edmonton Police Service historical crimes section. Exhibits were sent to a national lab for forensic identification. Moore had already been entered into the national DNA databank due to other convictions post-1994 and police found a match to his DNA.

The Crown asked for a 15-year sentence, taking into account Moore's guilty plea. She explained that the victim turned down the chance to attend court or write a victim impact statement.

"She advised us that 27 years later, she just wants to heal," Washenfelder said. "Her silence speaks volumes about the lifelong harm she sustained in this horrific attack."

When Moore was given a chance to address the court, he said he was deeply sorry for his crime.

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"I know this is a long overdue apology, but I really regret what I've done," Moore said. "I'm sorry for what's happened to her and the trauma she's going through. I don't wish that on anybody."

Moore's lawyer suggested a sentence in the range of eight to nine years.

Katherine Clackson said Moore lives alone in Medicine Hat where he is unemployed and collects AISH. Since his release from prison in 2011, she said he's been receiving psychiatric treatment after being designated a high-risk offender.

Justice Belzil sentenced Moore to 15-years in prison.

"She must have been absolutely terrified that she was going to die," Belzil said. "This can only be described as a reign of terror.

"I hope she can obtain some closure."

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