The Calgary Police Service has charged a Rocky View County man in an investigation into the alleged kidnapping, drugging, and sexual assault of multiple women from the Calgary area, according to a CPS press release.
"Over the past several weeks, this investigation has evolved rapidly," said Acting Staff Sgt. Shelby Stewart of the CPS District 4 General Investigations Unit, in a press release. CPS began their operation last month, after investigating several allegations that a man from Rocky View County was targeting women who worked in the sex trade in Calgary.
According to the press release, between December 2021 and March 2023, at least three women were believed to have been approached by a man on 19 Avenue S.E., in Forest Lawn. There, the women were allegedly drugged and taken to a rural property east of the city in Rocky View County, where they were physically and sexually assaulted.
"On Thursday, April 6, 2023, with assistance from the RCMP, we executed a search warrant on a rural property, located on Vale View Road, Rocky View County, north of Willow View," stated CPS' release. "Officers also took one man, a tenant of the property, into custody."
As a result of the investigation, Richard Robert Mantha, 59, is now facing many charges, including one count of kidnapping, two counts of forcible confinement, two counts of administering a noxious thing, one count of sexual assault, two counts of sexual assault with a weapon, one count of sexual assault causing bodily harm, one count of assault with a weapon, two counts of uttering threats, and one count of pointing a fire arm. Mantha also had three outstanding warrants for sexual assault, assault causing bodily harm, and failure to attend court.
"Due to the cross-jurisdictional nature of these crimes, we have also been working closely with our partners in the RCMP. The search of the property is expected to be complete tomorrow, Tuesday, April 11, 2023, and this investigation remains ongoing. We have also engaged resources from across CPS and from our partner agencies to ensure that all victims have access to wrap around supports.
"Historically, crimes committed against women working in the sex trade are under-reported and we know that not all victims will feel comfortable reporting to police. Anyone who is the victim of sexual assault can also reach out directly to additional resources that are available including through Calgary Communities Against Sexual Abuse, 211 Alberta, and the Alberta One-Line for Sexual Violence."
Anyone with information about this case, or who is looking to report a crime, can contact police by calling 403-266-1234. Anonymous tips can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers through any of the following methods:
APP: P3 Tips