Sex charges laid in 3 decades-old Calgary cold cases

·3 min read
Calgary police have laid charges in connection with three sexual assaults in the mid-1980s.  (David Bell/CBC - image credit)
Calgary police have laid charges in connection with three sexual assaults in the mid-1980s. (David Bell/CBC - image credit)

Police have laid charges against an Edmonton man stemming from a series of sexual assaults in Calgary nearly four decades ago.

Officers said advances in forensic technology and investigative techniques aided them in their investigation of the three attacks in 1984 and 1985.

"These are violent and traumatizing crimes perpetrated against people in their own homes, a place everyone should feel safe," Staff Sgt. Michelle Doyle of the Calgary Police Service said in a statement.

"Even after nearly 40 years, we will not stop investigating cold cases," added Doyle, a member of CPS's sexual assault investigative unit.

Babysitter, 2 women attacked in their own homes

The first of the three assaults occurred in February of 1984 when a teen was babysitting her sibling. That's when a man entered the Thorncliffe residence and sexually assaulted the teenager before fleeing, police said.

A month later, a woman and her child were at home in the 2100 block of Seventh Avenue N.W. Investigators said the woman awoke in her bed to find an unknown man in her room.

"As she tried to escape, the man forced her into another bedroom, where he sexually assaulted her," police said in a news release. "Before fleeing, the man threatened the victim with physical harm."

The third assault happened the following year in June. A woman was asleep in her residence in the 11200 block of Sixth Street S.W. and awoke to a man covering her face, police said. He then sexually assaulted the victim, alleging he had a knife. Police said he then fled the scene.

Cases linked, police say

Doyle said the cold case team looks at historical files to determine whether there is any type of evidence to advance cases.

On Monday, police charged Richard Hubert Jones, 69, of Edmonton, in relation to the three cases. Investigators said the man also lived in Saskatchewan and British Columbia.

Jones faces nine charges.

Among the charges, he faces one count of sexual intercourse with a female person who was not his wife and who was under the age of 14 (under the 1984 Criminal Code of Canada).

"The historical charges come from a time  when, maybe, that was applicable language," Doyle said. Based on a couple of past cold cases, however, she said the sentencing is applicable to today's era.

Jones has also been charged with the 1985 Criminal Code offences of break and enter into a dwelling house and commit sexual assault, and sexual assault.

He is scheduled to appear in court in Calgary on June 12.

"We acknowledge the impacts these assaults have had on the victims and their families and hope that the charges can bring some sort of justice and closure to them," Doyle said.

"There is no statute of limitations on criminal sexual offences in Canada, and we encourage anyone who has been a victim of a serious crime to report it, even if many years have passed since the incident."

Support is available for anyone who has been sexually assaulted. You can access crisis lines and local support services through this Government of Canada website or the Ending Violence Association of Canada database. If you're in immediate danger or fear for your safety or that of others around you, please call 911.