July 24th, 2024

Delay in weeks-long trial for man accused of kidnapping, sex assault in Calgary

By The Canadian Press on January 15, 2024.

A French-language trial for a man accused of kidnapping and sexually assaulting five women is to begin today at the Alberta Court of Justice in Calgary. Police investigators brought in forensic teams and a cadaver dog to search a rural property east of Calgary. The accused was living in an outbuilding that he rented from the property's owners. The property is seen in Langdon, Alta., on Monday, April 10, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

CALGARY – A French-language trial for a man accused of kidnapping and sexually assaulting seven women at a rural property east of Calgary has been delayed.

Richard Robert Mantha, 59, faces numerous charges that include kidnapping, forcible confinement, sexual assault with a weapon, sexual assault causing bodily harm and administering a noxious substance.

He was denied bail last summer and has been in custody since he was arrested April.

Defence lawyer Kim Arial says she will be making a severance application to split the complaints into seven separate trials.

Court has adjourned until Wednesday when that application is expected to be heard.

Police have said the women allege they were approached by a man, then drugged and taken to another location, where they were physically and sexually assaulted.

Additional charges have been laid as more complainants came forward.

A police spokeswoman confirmed last week that one of the women has since died in an unrelated incident, but the Crown still plans to proceed with those charges.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 15, 2024.

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