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Sex assault, confinement, kidnapping charges after rural property search east of Calgary

Calgary police have charged a 59-year-old man suspected of targeting local sex trade workers and then drugging and assaulting them at a rural property east of Calgary.

In March 2023, Calgary police received several reports alleging that a man was targeting workers in Calgary’s sex trade.  They said at least three women were believed to have been approached by a man on 19 Avenue SE in Forest Lawn.

According to police, the women were allegedly drugged and taken to a property east of Calgary where they were allegedly physically and sexually assaulted.

“Over the past several weeks, this investigation has evolved rapidly,” said Acting Staff Sergeant Shelby Stewart of the CPS District 4 General Investigations Unit.

“We are grateful to the victims who have come forward and trusted us with this investigation and ask anyone else with information to contact police.”

On April 6, Calgary police, along with RCMP, executed a search warrant on a Rocky View County property located on Vale View Road. One person was taken into custody.

Richard Robert Mantha, 59, of Rocky View County is facing 16 charges in connection with the alleged events. Mantha will appear in court on Wednesday, police said.

Property search ongoing

Calgary police have worked closely with RCMP on this case.

They expected to conclude the search of the property on Tuesday, and the investigation is ongoing. The victims are also receiving support from partner agencies, according to the Calgary police.

“We encourage anyone who has been the victim of a sexual assault to report it to their local police agency, and want to remind victims that there is no statute of limitations on the reporting of a sexual assault in Canada,” read a statement from the Calgary police.

They said that historically crimes committed against women in the sex trade are underreported, with many not comfortable reporting to police.  They said support can be found through the Calgary Communities Against Sexual Abuse, 211 Alberta, and the Alberta One-Line for Sexual Violence.

Anyone with further information about this case is asked to call Calgary police at 403-266-1234.