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Victoria police use DNA data bank to build case in arrest for brutal sexual assault

Jan 14 2012

Victoria police have arrested a 31-year-old West Shore man for a brutal sexual assault on a sex-trade worker, following an 11-month investigation in which DNA evidence linked him to a violent robbery in 2009.

The man and the 30-year-old prostitute had consensual sex in the man’s car in the 3000-block of Douglas Street around 5 a.m. after which the man forced her into having sex again against her will.

She eventually fought the man off and called Victoria police, giving them a detailed description. The woman was taken to hospital where DNA evidence was collected.

Using the Violent Crime Linkage System — a nation-wide database of violent or sexual offenders — detectives matched the DNA evidence to a sample in the known offender data bank, said police spokesman Const. Mike Russell.

Cpl. Tara Roberts of the RCMP Behaviors Sciences Group linked the sexual assault to a violent robbery of a sex trade worker in Victoria in December 2009 in which the man was a suspect.

“This link provided a key piece of evidence that let our detectives continue this important investigation,” Russell said.

The man, who has a history of violent offences, was arrested Thursday at his home in Langford. He is facing charges of aggravated sexual assault and is set to appear in court Friday afternoon.

Police have not yet charged the man with the 2009 robbery but are still investigating it.

Russell said he hopes the arrest will provide some relief to already vulnerable sex trade workers.

“These files do mean a lot to our officers because we do know how much they affect the victim,” Russell said.

Any case that has a sexual or violent element to it is entered into the Violent Crime Linkage System, or ViCLAS, which collects data on offenders across the country.

For example, Russell said, descriptions or details involving the bus stop masturbator, who was exposing himself to young women at bus stops last year, were entered into ViCLAS in hopes of finding links to other jurisdictions.