Calgary police have charged a 69-year-old Edmonton man in three sexual assault cases going back to the 1980s.
Police have alleged that Richard Hubert Jones sexually assaulted women in February and March of 1984, and in June of 1985 in the communities of Huntington Hills, Hillhurst, and Southwood.
CPS’ sexual assault investigations unit, cold case unit, and the Edmonton Police Service arrested Jones on May 1 in Edmonton.
“Significant advances in forensic technology have aided our cold case sexual violence team with making an arrest in three sexual assaults that occurred nearly 40 years ago,” said Staff Sergeant Michelle Doyle with the Calgary Police Service’s Sexual Assault Investigative Unit.
“Essentially 40 years ago, evidence was collected but the ability to test that evidence has evolved over time. So, our ability to determine DNA comparisons has evolved.”
Staff Sgt. Doyle said that how police came by Jones’ DNA is a matter before the courts.
She called the arrest a significant one for the service.
“Our cold case team has had some successful convictions in court in very similar dated cases. I’m very proud of them for finding some closure for people,” Doyle said.
The accused will appear in court on June 12, 2023.
CPS said they don’t give up on crimes
CPS, said Staff Sgt. Doyle, holds on to evidence from violent assault cases indefinitely, and that is what led to the ability for the evidence to be re-examined.
“I think the message is, potentially to both victims of violent crime, but also perpetrators of violent crime, that we don’t stop looking,’ she said.
“That’s what our court case is essentially set up to do, is to try to bring some justice for people.”
Jones is accused of entering a residence in Huntington Hills in February 1984, and sexually assaulting a teenager who was babysitting her younger sibling. He’s also accused of entering a home in Hillhurst in March 1984 and forcing a woman into a bedroom before assaulting her and threatening physical harm. He’s also accused of sexually assaulting a sleeping woman in her Southwood home in June of 1984, alleging that he had a knife during the attack.
“I would like to say that these are violent and traumatizing crimes perpetrated against people in their own homes, a place that we should all feel safe,” said Staff Sgt. Doyle.
“We acknowledge the impact these assaults have had on the victims and their families and hope that the charges can bring some form of justice and closure to them.”
Charges stem from a prior era of the Criminal Code of Canada
The charges laid against Jones for the alleged acts are under the 1984 and 1985 criminal codes, the time that the offences were alleged to have occurred.
He is facing under the 1984 code two counts of break and enter into a dwelling house and commit sexual assault, two counts of sexual intercourse with a female person who is not his wife, one count of break and enter a dwelling house and commit sexual intercourse with a female under the age of fourteen, one count of sexual intercourse with a female person who was not his wife and who was under the age of fourteen, one count of intent to enable or assist himself to commit an indictable offence, did attempt to choke, suffocate, or strangle a female person.
And under the 1984 code, he’s facing one count of break and enter into a dwelling house and commit sexual assault, and one count of sexual assault.
“The historical charges come from a time where you know that maybe was applicable language,” said Staff Sgt. Doyle.
“That includes acknowledging trauma and changing rape to sexual assault, those kinds of things. Over time, generally, the Criminal Code will advance and be applicable to the era.”