By Delon Shurtz on January 22, 2021.
A 23-year-old violent offender who was convicted in 2018 of sexually assaulting a woman and cutting her throat, is facing new charges.
The accused, who can’t be named because he was only 17 when he assaulted his victim, was back in Lethbridge court this week for allegedly breaching a conditional supervision order, which was granted last June when he was moved from custody into the community so he could participate in a treatment program.
When the man’s status was set to be reviewed the following November, however, court was told the accused had walked away from the residential treatment facility and couldn’t be found.
Lethbridge lawyer Scott Hadford was granted an adjournment Wednesday to Feb. 5, and told court he is trying to determine whether his client can have a bail hearing, given the unusual circumstances. He pointed out his client is also facing some minor charges out of Calgary.
The man was sentenced in December 2018 to a three-year Intensive Rehabilitative Custodial Supervision order and two years probation on charges of sexual assault, break and enter to commit sexual assault, threats to cause death and unlawful confinement.
During the early morning hours of May 3, 2015, the man entered a southside apartment in Lethbridge where a woman was sleeping on a couch. He began sexually assaulting her before the woman’s stepfather awoke and confronted him. The man dragged her outside at knife point, continued to assault his victim, then cut her throat and fled.
The woman survived the slash, but she and her stepfather died of unrelated causes before the trial began. In previous statements to police, however, the stepfather described the assailant and provided his address. Police searched his home and found a shirt stained with the victim’s DNA.
Following his first year in custody, the offender was released to live in a halfway house under community supervision, but he breached conditions of his release order for being under the influence of non-prescribed medication.
He was arrested and returned to custody, but released again to the halfway house before being arrested a second time for failing to follow quarantine rules. He was still in custody when the judge released him last June on a new plan to attend the Stan Daniels Healing Centre, a 72-bed community residential healing lodge for conditionally released and federally sentenced Indigenous inmates.
Follow @DShurtzHerald on Twitter