Ottawa Police arrest man in connection with 3 sex assaults, believe more victims out there
Published Thursday, October 9, 2014 4:38PM EDT Last Updated Thursday, October 9, 2014 6:37PM EDT
Ottawa police have charged a Gatineau man in connection with three historical assaults on women. Police are convinced there are more victims out there. 44-year-old Daniel Marois was arrested yesterday in Gatineau.
The assaults span a 12-year period and for that reason, police are pretty sure there are more victims. They say the first of the three sexual assaults happened in April of 2001. Just before midnight, a 19-year-old woman was walking along the 22-hundred block of Carling Avenue when she was attacked.
Eight years later, in April of 2009 there was a similar attack on another woman, this time near the corner of Dalhousie and Cathcart. Police reports from that time talk about a 26-year-old woman who was walking along Dalhousie at 2:30 a.m. when she was grabbed from behind, dragged into an alley and sexually assaulted.
Now, they have linked a third assault from August of last year involving a 21-year-old woman. They won't say where it happened nor will they comment on this case while it's before the courts.
But the Ottawa Coalition to End Violence Against Women is talking about the arrest of a suspected serial predator.
‘I think police did a great job,’ says Erin Leigh, the Executive Director of the Coalition.
‘These cases occurred over 12-year span,’ Leigh says, ‘and really shows the importance of people coming forward and the police being open to believe survivors and to make those connections.’
Police believe there are other victims; Erin Leigh is convinced of it.
‘I think absolutely that these wouldn't be isolated cases,’ Leigh says, ‘There's lots of reasons why people who experience sexual abuse or assault wouldn't go to police.’
Marois appeared briefly in court this morning to face 3 charges of sexual assault and 2 counts of uttering death threats. He's back in court on Tuesday for a video remand and stays in jail until then. Police are encouraging any other women to come forward if they have information on this case. They can call the Ottawa Police Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Section at 613-236-1222, ext. 5944. Erin Leigh says those women should also reach out to the resources in our community for help. The Ottawa Rape Crisis Line operates a 24-hour emergency crisis help line at 613-562-2333.