Police are renewing their search for a suspect in a string of sexual assaults on OC Transpo buses after charges were dropped against a man previously accused.
Ottawa police said Thursday that Racil Hilan, 34, is no longer facing five counts of sexual assault.
The development comes after the Crown said it has no reasonable grounds for conviction.
Hilan’s lawyer Norm Boxall said he was able to provide video evidence his client wasn’t on a bus at the time of one of the assaults.
Although he said Hilan does share some similarities with the suspect’s description, Boxall said nobody was able to identify his client out of a police lineup.
"In my opinion this investigation is a classic example of tunnel vision, they proceeded without proper identification of the accused," he said.
"For example, it’s highly unusual that you would execute a search warrant after the arrest, you might have thought to do that before his arrest."
Hilan still facing three charges from earlier incidents
Hilan has been suspended without pay from his job and is worried he has been labeled a serial sex offender, according to Boxall.
He’s still facing three counts each of sexual assault and mischief related to incidents on OC Transpo buses in December 2011 and February 2012 and will appear in court on Monday.
This means police are again looking for someone connected with incidents reported between Nov. 22, 2012, and Jan. 15 of this year.
Anyone with information on the more recent sexual assaults is asked to call Ottawa police at 613-236-1222 extension 5944 or Crime Stoppers at 613-233-8477.