By Melinda Warren
Toronto Police have made an arrest in a series of sexual assaults in the Bloor-Christie area that targetted 16 women since August.
A 15-year-old male suspect was arrested late Saturday night after allegedly approaching a woman from behind and sexually assaulting her, staff inspector Mary Lee Metcalfe, of the sex crimes unit said at a news conference at police headquarters Monday morning.
“At approximately 11 p.m., a woman was walking near Bloor Street West and Roxton Road. The accused approached the woman from behind, sexually assaulted her and was arrested by police at the scene,” she said.
Metcalfe said it was unusual for the accused to be so young but said “it does occur”.
The location of the assaults include Barton Ave. to the north, Ossington Ave. to the west, Palmerston Ave. to the east and College St. to the south. Some of Police Chief Bill Blair’s remarks at the press conference can be heard here:
Blair said there were female officers who were working in the area but the operation was not a sting.
He thanked the female officers who put themselves in danger to move forward with this investigation.
“We had women in our organization who put themselves in harm’s way, who went out into that community and put themselves at risk, knowing that if they were successful in their mission, they could also be the victim of an assault,” he said.
Humber News reporter Melinda Warren live Tweeted the news conference
Chief Blair won’t directly say but sounds like female police officers acted as decoys twitter.com/melinda_warren…
— Melinda-AlyshaWarren (@melinda_warren) October 22, 2012
Any information about the victim cannot be released because of the Youth Criminal Justice Act. He has been charged with 14 counts of sexual assault and two counts of criminal harassment.
Police say this individual was not known to them before these attacks took place and would not give any details on whether he lives in the community or not.
Blair said even though an arrest has been made police will remain in the Bloor Street West and Christie Street area.
“We are not going away,” he said. “The officers of 14 Division will remain visible in that community.”
According to a press release by Toronto Police, the boy — who under Canada’s Young Offenders Act cannot be identified — made a brief court apperance this morning at 311 Jarvis Street and the investigation is ongoing.
Police said there are possibly other victims who have not yet come forward.