Police appeal for information after series of similar sex assaults
Det. Const. Phillip Campbell speaks to reporters on Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012 about a series of similar sexual assaults in Annex neighbourhood.
Published Wednesday, August 29, 2012 5:57PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, August 29, 2012 7:49PM EDT
Police are asking for the public’s help after a series of six similar sex assaults in the Annex and Kensington Market neighbourhoods.
All six sex assaults occurred in July and August and all involved a young woman, in their teens or 20s, police Det. Cst. Phillip Campbell told reporters at a press conference on Wednesday afternoon.
“They are similar in nature. The females were walking alone. They were approached from behind, and they were attacked,” said Campbell.
Four of the assaults have occurred in the last two weeks in the area near Bloor Street and Christie Street.
The most recent assault occurred early Wednesday morning when a 26-year-old woman was walking south on Grace Street, from Bloor Street, around 12:55 a.m.
A man approached her from behind and sexually assaulted her. The woman screamed and the man ran north on Grace Street, according to a police release.
A similar assault occurred on Aug. 19 at 11 p.m. when a 25-year-old woman was walking near Bloor Street and Grace Street when she was approached from behind and assaulted.
The same thing happened to a 24-year-old woman near Bloor Street and Christie Street on the same day at 12:40 a.m.
A 16-year-old woman was assaulted near Clinton Street on August 28 at 8:30 p.m.
The suspect in all four of these cases is described as a black male, between 17 and 35 years of age and between 5’7” and 5’9” tall.
He is described as having a medium to stocky build and short black hair, Campbell said.
“On the last two occurrences, he was described as wearing a light-coloured shirt and red shorts,” Campbell said.
Two similar assaults also took place in Kensington Market in early July.
In one of those cases, a 19-year-old woman was walking alone near Spadina Avenue and College Street at 4 a.m. on July 4 when she was approached from behind and sexually assaulted.
Two days later, a 23-year-old woman was approached from behind and sexually assaulted near the same area.
The suspect in those two attacks has been described as a black male, between 25 and 40 years old and approximately six feet tall, with short black hair.
Campbell said that police do not know if they are looking for one suspect or two, but he noted that the suspect description and the nature of the attacks are similar.
“If anyone has any information, at all, we’d like to hear about it,” he said.
Campbell said that police are concerned that the violence could escalate and that is why they are appealing to the public.
“We’re always concerned that this is going to escalate,” he said. “We want to protect the public. We want to protect the females in the area and that’s why we’re here today.”
Police have also added extra officers to the area, Campbell said. This includes both uniformed and plain-clothes officers, he said.