Victoria police crack 20-year-old child sex assault case

Investigators confirm that suspect, victim knew each other

Victoria police Det. Todd Wellman speaks to reporters Wednesday at the Victoria Women's Sexual Assault Centre

Victoria police Det. Todd Wellman speaks to reporters Wednesday at the Victoria Women's Sexual Assault Centre

Police have made an arrest in connection with the sexual assault of a young girl in Victoria 20 years ago.

A 66-year-old man was picked up by police in Quebec on Tuesday (May 8), after a recent break in the case.

“The victim has had contact with the (Victoria) Women’s Sexual Assault Centre and I can say she was thrilled to hear about the arrest,” said Det.-Sgt. Todd Wellman, head of the Victoria Police Department’s Special Victims Unit.

The assault is alleged to have happened in a private residence in Victoria in 1992. Police are releasing few details about the file to protect the victim’s identity, but confirmed the accused and the victim knew one another.

“(In) most sex assaults, the offender is known to the victim and this is one of those cases,” Wellman said, during a press conference at the Victoria Women’s Sexual Assault Centre on Wednesday.

The victim did not report the assault to police until 1998.

“Sometimes it’s about the willingness of the person involved to provide full details,” Wellman said, speaking in general. “Sometimes its about tracking down the right witness and getting them in for an interview and then being able to corroborate (facts).”

Only six per cent of sexual assault victims file a police report, according to the sexual assault centre.

The accused in this case is not known to Victoria police and was not a long-term resident of Victoria at the the time of the alleged crime.

The press conference was called, in part, to raise awareness about services that are available to sexual assault survivors, no matter when an assault takes place. May is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

The arrest sends different messages to criminals and to survivors.

“In this break of this 20-year-old file we really want to send that strong message to the criminals out there that we won’t stop looking for you,” Wellman said.

“The biggest point that we want to make about this is that regardless of the historical nature of sexual assaults, we will keep on digging until we’re able to, ideally, hold someone accountable for these offences.”

Wellman also had a message for survivors of sexual assaults: “Regardless of the time lag, you can report it, we’ll take you seriously, we will believe you and we’ll do our best to investigate and hold anyone accountable.”

The accused, whose name is being withheld by police, was released following his arrest, but was ordered to abide by a number of conditions. He has been formally charged with one count each of sexual assault and gross indecency.

He is scheduled to appear at the Victoria Law Courts on June 25.

emccracken@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

Jesse Roper tackles weeds in his garden to kick off the 2021 season of What’s In My Garden Man? (YouTube/Whats In My Garden)
VIDEO: Metchosin singer-songwriter Jesse Roper invites gardeners into his plot

What’s In My Garden, Man? kicks off with the poop on compost

Barriers to rental housing brought on by no-pet rules add stress to renters, says councillor. (Pixabay)
Saanich councillor wants to remove barriers to housing for pet owners

Motion calling for province to amend lease stipulations against pet ownership defeated in 5-4 vote

(Victoria Cool Aid Society/Facebook)
Victoria food drive aims to feed those also struggling with housing

Quadra Village furniture store hosting drive-thru event Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Karl and Stephanie Ann Johanson were thrilled to spot a pair of Sandhill Cranes in the Panama Flats this month, an unusual appearance for such birds. (Photo by Stephanie Ann Johanson)
WATCH: Sandhill cranes an unusual, joyful sight in Saanich parkland

The birds don’t often touch down in the south of the Island

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Freighters have becomd abundant in the Trincomali Channel on the east side of Thetis Island.
Nanaimo ponders taking on waste from nearby anchored freighters

Vancouver-based Tymac petitioning the Regional District of Nanaimo to accept waste at its landfill

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

Most Read