July 22nd, 2024

Weeks-long trial to begin in Calgary for man accused of kidnapping, sex assault

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 five women at a rural property east of Calgary is to begin today at the Alberta Court of Justice.

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 in April 2023.

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.

A police spokeswoman confirmed last week that one of the five women recently died in an unrelated incident.

Mantha was charged after officers cordoned off the rural property and brought in cadaver dogs, but police said at the time that no bodies were found.

The four-week trial is scheduled to run until Feb. 9.

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

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