July 12th, 2024

French-language trial begins in Calgary for man accused of multiple sex assaults

By The Canadian Press on January 19, 2024.

A judge is expected to decide today whether a man accused of sexually assaulting vulnerable women in Calgary will have one trial or seven separate ones. The Calgary Courts Centre on Monday, March 11, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

CALGARY – A judge has decided to proceed with one trial for a man accused of sexually assaulting seven vulnerable women in Calgary.

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

He was denied bail last summer and has been in custody since he was arrested in April 2023.

The French-language trial was set to begin on Monday, but his lawyer had asked for the case to be split into seven trials and that application was heard on Wednesday.

Justice Judith Shrier of the Alberta Court of Justice has decided to proceed with a single trial.

The trial begins this morning with the first witness, whose testimony is to be translated from English to French.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 19, 2024.

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