Ottawa

Sex assault returns old fears to Barrhaven

Barrhaven residents were chilled to hear news of the abduction and sexual assault of a teenage girl earlier this week, with many drawing comparisons to the sexual assault and murder of Jennifer Teague in 2005.

Barrhaven residents were chilled to hear news of the abduction and sexual assault of a teenage girl earlier this week, with many drawing comparisons to the sexual assault and murder of Jennifer Teague in 2005.

Ottawa police say on Tuesday morning at about 9:45 a.m. a man driving an older red SUV stopped on Tartan Drive and asked a 16-year-old girl for directions.

Police said she was then forced into the SUV and sexually assaulted, before being dropped off at the Fallowfield Road Park and Ride lot.

Police said the man brandished a handgun during the attack.

The teen has been released from hospital and is at home with her family.

The incident was a reminder to many of Teague, the 18-year-old who was kidnapped in the same area in September of 2005. Her body was later found in the woods. Her killer, Kevin Davis, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and is serving a life sentence.

Residents said Tuesday's attack is bringing back those old worries.

Heather Matheson-Rakita said she cried when she heard the news.

"I lost my marbles," she said. "I'm wondering about my street and how unsafe it is and I know things have happened...before and what looks quiet and safe isn't necessarily."

JoAnn Chisholm said the street is a peaceful one with great neighbours but that now she'll be more careful when talking to strangers.

"I think I'll be more aware of where I'm walking," said Chisholm.

Police spent Thursday interviewing witnesses and reviewing security footage from the Park and Ride.

The suspect is described as a male in his 40s with light brown or olive skin and standing about five-feet-six-inches with a medium build, slightly protruding stomach and dark, shaggy ear-length hair. Police said he spoke English with a French accent and wore a beige suede coat, blue jeans, black work boots, glasses with thin black rims and a gold wedding band.

The vehicle was an older red four-door SUV with winter tires and no hubcaps, similar to a Ford Escape or Explorer, police said. It had a front mount for a licence plate, but no front plate, and it had two front bucket seats and rear seats that had been removed.

Police are asking anyone with information to contact the sexual assault and child abuse unit or Crime Stoppers.

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