Charges laid in alleged bus sex assault

A 21-year-old Edmonton man is charged with sexual assault and sexual interference after an alleged attack on a 12-year-old girl on New Year's Day.
Edmonton Police Service Det. Em Chan says being able to share an image from bus surveillance cameras was the reason for the quick arrest. ((CBC))
A 21-year-old Edmonton man is facing sexual assault and sexual interference charges after a 12-year-old girl was allegedly touched inappropriately on a city bus.

The alleged assault happened around 10 a.m. on New Year's Day. Police say the girl was on ETS bus No. 8 near 59th Street and 118th Avenue when a man approached her and touched her several times.

The bus driver pulled over and confronted the man, who left the bus.

Police received a tip after surveillance video from the bus was broadcast last week.

"One person, and it was a strong lead, and that's what we focused on," said Det. Em Chan of the Edmonton Police Service. "This is another example of community policing at work."

The girl is "doing well," Chan said.

"She's currently receiving support and continues to do so through the Zebra Child Protection Centre."

The ability to share an image of the suspect with the public was crucial, Chan said. It was possible because new buses bought by Edmonton Transit are each equipped with five video cameras.

"We have about 370 buses with cameras and approximately 1,800 cameras in total," said Ron Gabruck, director of safety and security for ETS. 

"It's our intention to equip our entire fleet in time."