Suspects sought in 2 sexual assaults in Toronto
By Melinda Warren
Toronto Police on Tuesday were continuing their investigating into a string of sexual assaults in the city’s west end.
The most recent attack happened Monday night on Broadview Avenue near Mortimer Avenue which is just north of Danforth.
Toronto Police said a 16-year-old girl was pulled at knife point into an alleyway around 9 p.m. and sexually assaulted.
The suspect is described as a white male in his 40s, six feet tall and wearing dark baggy sweatpants with a button up shirt.
Mary Fragedakis, the city councilor for Ward 29 where the incidents happened, said Tuesday that these attacks particularity bother her.
“The police tell me they are taking these incidents very seriously – which they should be – but I personally find it very disturbing,” Fragedakis told Humber News.
Earlier on Monday two women who were in the same house were also allegedly sexually assaulted around 10 a.m. by a man who said he was selling newspapers in the Avenue Road and Lawrence Avenue West area.
A 25-year-old woman and a 30-year-old woman were inside the house when the man forced his way in and attacked them.
Police say the suspect had a knife and was wounded in the stomach before he left the scene.
Police say it is possible the suspect may have knocked on other doors in the area as well.
In a news release by Toronto Police, the suspect is described as a white male, between five-foot-10 and six feet tall, clean shaven and short dark hair and was last seen wearing a black nylon jacket, black pants and holding a white bag.
These two attacks are said to be separate.
Police have released security camera footage of the suspect but have made no arrests.
In light of these kinds of attacks, awareness campaigns are happening to advise people on what to do.
The University of Ottawa has released a list of safety tips to try to prevent sexual assaults.
It says women should always be aware of their surroundings, be aware of people that seem to be following behind you when walking, always keep your cellphone in your hand, call out for help if you think you are in danger, walk on busy well light streets at night, ask for help and do not be afraid to make a scene or noise if you feel you are in danger.
Women’s College Hospital in Toronto has a clinic available for victims of sexual assault. It provides emergency and follow up care, safety planning, collection of forensic evidence and short-term counseling.
Jessica Potvin, a registered nurse at Women’s College hospital told Humber News that when a victim comes into the hospital to report an attack all of their information is kept confidential and it is up to them whether they want to report the incident to the police.
“We don’t force them to report to the police. When somebody comes into our hospital all of their information is kept confidential. All of their meds and counseling are covered” under OHIP, Potvin said.
She said she is seeing more women coming forward to report sexual assaults.
“It does seem that more women are coming forward to access our service but not necessarily telling the police about it,” Potvin said.