Police search for man who allegedly assaulted 3 women after offering 'a blessing'
Man told one victim she needed to be 'cleansed of her ex-husband,' police say
A man who allegedly sexually assaulted a North York woman last month after offering her a "blessing" and insisting she needed to be "cleansed of her ex-husband" may be responsible for two similar attacks, police say.
Investigators have issued security camera images of the alleged perpetrator along with a plea for the public's help to identify the man.
All three incidents occurred in the area of Bathurst Street and Steeles Avenue West, police say. Two of the victims came forward after investigators went public with details of the first reported assault.
That incident, on May 23, allegedly happened after the man boarded an elevator with the victim, 37, and struck up a conversation.
The man told the woman she "needed a blessing" in order to be "cleansed of her ex-husband," according to police.
He followed her to apartment and sexually assaulted her inside it, police allege.
2 new cases
Investigators originally asked for the public's help in that case on June 6. Since then, two additional sexual assaults have been linked to the same man.
He's alleged to have approached a woman, 27, who was walking home along York Hill Boulevard shortly before midnight on May 22.
He approached her and asked to "bless" her, police say. When she refused, he allegedly physically assaulted her and continued to follow her all the way home.
When she got home, her dog started barking and the man left.
The third incident occurred at around 4 p.m. on May 24, according to police. A woman, 38, was in her home, in the same neighbourhood as the other alleged attacks, when a man knocked on her door.
He forced himself into the entryway while asking if he could bless her. When he got inside, he allegedly sexually assaulted the woman, police say.
According to investigators, the man is 6 feet tall, with a long brown beard, long brown side curls of hair and glasses. He speaks Hebrew and English and was dressed with black shoes, black pants and white collared shirt, and a long back trench or dress coat and a long-brimmed hat.
If you have any information that may be helpful, or to report a complaint, call police at 416-808-3200. You can also call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS.