Police offer $50K for info on sex assault cold cases

Toronto police are offering $50,000 for information that will help them identify a suspect linked to two sexual assaults — one that happened in Toronto in 1992 and another in Vancouver in 1985.

Assaults happened in Toronto and Vancouver in the '80s and '90s

Toronto police re-released these composite sketches of a suspect linked to two sexual assaults in Toronto and Vancouver in the 80s and 90s. (Toronto Police Service)

Toronto police are offering $50,000 for information that will help them identify a suspect linked to two sexual assaults — one that happened in Toronto in 1992 and another in Vancouver in 1985.

Using forensic DNA technology, investigators were able to link the two cases to the same man.

Police said in the Vancouver case, a 34-year-old woman was sexually assaulted in a multi-level garage on West Pender Street in Vancouver on May 3, 1985. 

It's alleged the man approached the woman at around 2:20 p.m., showed a weapon, and then sexually assaulted and robbed her.

The same man was linked to another assault on June 20, 1992, in Toronto. Police said a 21-year-old woman was walking home near Yonge Street and Balliol Street, when a man followed her into her apartment building and into the elevator. He revealed a handgun, then forced the woman into a stairwell and sexually assaulted her at gunpoint. 

The victim in that case, who is now in her 40s, spoke via telephone Friday at a press conference in Toronto. She was called "Jane" in order to protect her identity.

"It's as if this just happened. It's as if all the emotions are right at the surface. I remember so much about what happened. You'd think through time, things would fade, but this doesn't fade," she said.

Composite sketch re-released

The suspect in the two assaults was never identified and both cases went cold until 2005 when, using DNA technology, investigators were able to link both crimes to the same man. 

Police say they have spent the last several years investigating possible persons of interest, but have been unsuccessful in identifying the suspect. They are now appealing to the public for help.

"It takes one person — the right person — to see this press conference and call in the tip that will lead to the resolution of this case," Det. Ali Ansari said Friday.

A composite sketch from the 1992 case has been re-released, with both light and dark hair. 

Anyone with information is asked to contact Det. Ali Ansari at 416-808-7448 or ali.ansari@torontopolice.on.ca. People can also call Crime Stoppers at 416-222-TIPS (8477).

Anyone with information specific to the Vancouver case is asked to call 604-717-0604 to to visit the Vancouver Police Department website.

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