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Charges laid in string of sexual assaults, robberies in Calgary


‘This is the first time in several years that Calgary has seen a series of such targeted, stranger sexual assaults’

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A Calgary man has been charged in relation to a string of sexual assaults and robberies that occurred in January at personal care businesses across the city.

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Police responded to two separate robbery and sexual-assault complaints involving three victims on Jan. 30, leading investigators to become aware of more similar incidents targeting personal care businesses.

“This is the first time in several years that Calgary has seen a series of such targeted, stranger sexual assaults,” Det. Timothy Fitzgibbon of the Calgary police’s sexual assault investigative unit said during a news conference Thursday afternoon.

“Our focus was to find the suspect to stop these violent offences and to work with personal care businesses to share information, prevent further incidents and establish safety planning.”

By March 17, enough evidence had been gathered to identify a suspect, police said, and officers arrested 36-year-old Andrew Frank Sorenson after searching a home in Calgary’s southeast neighbourhood of Cranston.

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Sorenson is charged with four counts of sexual assault with a weapon, four counts of armed robbery, four counts of disguise with intent and one count of uttering threats. Police say the investigation is ongoing and more charges are expected in the coming weeks.

“We know that it can be difficult for victims of sexual assaults to come forward,” said Fitzgibbon.

“We are aware of a total of 10 events involving incidents of an armed robbery and sexual assault, and encourage anyone who is a victim of this type of crime to contact police.”

Fitzgibbon added such cases are rare but “very concerning” for the safety of the community. He said such crimes, targeted in terms of both the victims and businesses chosen, don’t occur with any frequency in Calgary.

“We don’t see offenders of this nature,” said Fitzgibbon.

“They’re very infrequent, this type of case; however, it’s extremely dangerous to the people who are being victimized.”

Anybody with information on the crimes is asked to call Calgary police at 403-266-1234. You can also anonymously contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), online at calgarycrimestoppers.org or by using the P3 Tips mobile app.

mrodriguez@postmedia.com

Twitter: @michaelrdrguez




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