Female real estate agents in Edmonton harassed for sexual purposes, police say
The suspect was seen masturbating, and offered the women money for sexual contact, police say
A 31-year-old-man faces several charges after real estate agents in Edmonton complained they were being harassed, often for sexual purposes, Edmonton police said Thursday.
Danmar Louise Cagulada is charged with criminal harassment, harassing phone calls, indecent acts and procuring after five complaints in 2017 and one in 2012.
The procuring charge is related to offering money for sexual contact.
"He would call up these real estate agents and try to make appointments to see vacant properties," Edmonton police spokesperson Carolin Maran said Thursday.
"Then sometimes the harassment would occur on the phone and other times it would occur in person," she said.
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James Mabey, board chair of the Realtors Association of Edmonton, said cases of harassment are not uncommon.
"Every couple of years, there's something that pops up that's kind of a higher profile incident like something like this," he said.
"It's one of those things that we hope that a lot of the training that we do as an association ... helps to make sure that these things don't come up all that often, and that people are being careful."
Mabey said the association advises realtors to take safety precautions, such as meeting new clients in a public place first, verifying their identities and making sure they don't meet clients alone at a vacant property.
Real estate agent Geneva Tetreault said she makes it a policy not to go out to show homes to people she doesn't know.
She spoke about a male client she met for the first time in 2012.
"I asked him to come to my office for a meeting, as I do with a lot of new buyers, to work through some things before I went to show him properties," Tetreault said. "So my first meeting with him was at my brokerage."
Tetreault said they were sitting at a table for their initial meeting.
"The sweater was across his lap, so I couldn't see that he was masturbating but obviously I could tell from the movement of his hand, and the fact that his hand was underneath his coat, and he was moving his hand."
Tetreault said it was the first time she encountered such a situation.
Police believe other realtors may have been harassed in similar situations. They encourage anyone with a similar complaint to contact them.
The allegations have not been proven in court.
Cagulada is scheduled to appear in provincial court on May 10.