A bail hearing began Wednesday for a man accused of serial rapes targeting Calgary sex trade workers.
Richard Mantha, 59, faces 20 charges involving five alleged victims between 2020 and 2023.
The women were drugged, and in some cases abducted, then sexually assaulted.
In April, following a five-day search of an acreage rented by Mantha on Vale View Road in Rocky View County, east of Calgary, more than a dozen charges were announced.
They include sexual assault with a gun and sexual assault with a knife, kidnapping, forcible confinement and administering noxious substances.
Details from Wednesday's bail hearing are protected by a publication ban.
Prosecutor Rose Greenwood opposed Mantha being granted bail. Defence lawyer Kim Arial will get her chance to argue for her client's release later this month.
Mantha first faced sexual assault charges connected to an allegation he abused a sex trade worker last summer. That was a Strathmore RCMP investigation.
The case was working its way through the court system, but in March, Mantha missed a court appearance and warrants were issued for his arrest.
Around the same time, the Calgary Police Service was investigating Mantha for crimes related to other city sex trade workers.
RCMP and CPS worked together and ultimately laid new charges in connection with that woman as well as further offences involving two more alleged victims.
After issuing a press release, two more women came forward. Another set of charges was laid.
CPS says it has made available supports and resources for the women who have come forward to police.