Sex assault victim wants you to hear her story

Elizabeth Filipovits wants you to know her name and the horrific ordeal she went through three years ago.

Filipovits had just wrapped up her day selling jewelry on the Nanaimo waterfront when she stopped for a beer at a neighbourhood pub.

She ran into a friend who introduced her to Timothy Wyslouzil.

Filipovits says he seemed nice enough, so when she offered her friend a ride at the end of the night, she also agreed to take Wyslouzil to a nearby bus depot.

Filipovits dropped her friend off and drove away with Wyslouzil, and the two of them made small talk, chatting about their families.

"It flipped like a switch. He was showing me pictures of his kids and his wife and then he was screaming at me to turn the car off. "

"He went from a normal conversation to lunging at me and putting a cord around my neck and strangling me up against my car seat," she said.

Filipovits was trapped in the vehicle for nearly two hours as she was physically and sexually assaulted.

She finally managed to escape, running naked down the street to a neighbour's home.

Timothy Wyslouzil

Three weeks after Filipovits was assaulted, Wyslouzil attacked another woman under nearly identical circumstances.

The woman, who worked with Wyslouzil, was giving him a ride.

Wyslouzil placed a string around her neck, pulled out a knife and instructed the woman to drive to a secluded area.

The woman drove to her home instead and when she pulled into the driveway, she blasted her horn. She ran off and Wyslouzil stole her car.

He was arrested a short while later.

Wyslouzil later pleaded guilty to several charges, including sexual assault with a weapon and unlawful confinement.

He was sentenced to five years in prison, two-and-a-half years for each attack.

New life

It's standard practice for the courts to place publication bans on the identities of women who have been sexually assaulted.

That happened to Filipovits, too, but she appeared before a judge and had the ban on her name removed so that she could tell her story.

Filipovits still lives on Vancouver Island but she avoids Nanaimo as much as she can.

She says the attack has changed her outlook on life, trust and the world.

"I've always helped people out my whole life, like picking up hitchhikers, but now I won't even pick up a hitchhiker," she said.

"I'm wary about people I don't know. My trust is earned now, not given. That's sad because there's a lot of good people out there."

New charges

New charges were laid last week against Wyslouzil in connection with a sex assault case from 2012 in Surrey.

Wyslouzil, 46, has been charged with several offences, including sexual assault with a weapon and choking and/or suffocating while committing sexual assault.

In that instance, police allege a woman walking near the intersection of 68 Avenue and 133 Street was attacked by a man in the late evening hours of June 2, 2012.

"The man, not known to the victim, is alleged to have physically and sexually assaulted her while threatening to kill her," said Cpl. Scotty Schumann with Surrey RCMP.

None of the allegations has been proven in court and no trial date has been set.