Police in Longueuil announced Monday afternoon that they have arrested Eduard-Stefan Georgescu, 31, for armed sexual assault and other crimes against 11 women dating back to 2007.
Insp. Jean-François Robert, head of the major crimes unit with Longueuil police, told a news conference that Georgescu was arrested and charged on Friday, Feb. 14, immediately following his release from Bordeaux Prison in Montreal.
All 11 victims were assaulted in the vicinity of the Brossard-Panama bus terminus. They ranged in age from 13 to 29.
Robert said each victim was approached as she walked alone in the early or late evening by a man asking for directions in French and English.
Early incidents involved the man making aggressive comments and sexual proposals. These escalated to indecent acts and sexual touching.
The assailant was often armed with a knife, but this changed to a gun in November 2012, said Robert.
Georgescu, who resided in Brossard from 2001 to 2011, faces 32 charges including armed sexual assault, sexual assault, possession of a weapon, indecency and forcible confinement.
One of the biggest serial crime investigations in Longueuil history
Robert said the investigation to identify and find the assailant was one of the biggest serial crime investigations in the Longueuil police department’s history.
Police received more than 300 tips from members of the public in response to their release of a composite sketch.
Robert said the break in the case came when one woman recognized the man in the sketch and contacted police in November 2013.
Investigators believe Georgescu may be linked to at least another 16 cases with similar characteristics in Longueuil, as well as other cases in the Montreal area, where he is known to other police forces.
Robert encouraged other potential victims to contact police.
"I'm very proud of our investigators. Today is a big day for the victims and for justice," Robert told reporters.
Georgescu will be back in court March 11.