A 59-year-old man from Rocky View County is facing over a dozen charges in connection to a string of attacks that targeted sex workers in Southeast Calgary. 

According to Calgary Police, an investigation began last month after several allegations were made that a man was targeting women who worked in the sex trade in Calgary.

"At least three women were believed to have been approached by a man on 19 Avenue S.E., in Forest Lawn, where the women were then allegedly drugged, taken to a rural property east of the city, where they were physically and sexually assaulted," police stated.

Last Thursday the investigation culminated in both CPS and the mounties executing a search warrant on a rural property, located on Vale View Road, Rocky View County, north of Willow View. Officers also took one man, a tenant of the property, into custody.

Richard Robert Mantha, of Rocky View County, is charged with:

-       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

-       one count of pointing a firearm

-       three outstanding warrants for sexual assault, assault causing bodily harm and failure to attend court

Acting Staff Sergeant Shelby Stewart of the CPS District 4 General Investigations Unit said that the investigation evolved very rapidly over the past several weeks.

“We are grateful to the victims who have come forward and trusted us with this investigation and ask anyone else with information to contact police," she said.

Police added that the search of the property is expected to be complete tomorrow, Tuesday, April 11, though the investigation remains ongoing. 

Police underlined that historically, crimes committed against women working in the sex trade are underreported and that police are aware that not all victims will feel comfortable reporting them to the police.

"We encourage anyone who has been the victim of a sexual assault to report it to their local police agency, and wants to remind victims that there is no statute of limitations on the reporting of a sexual assault in Canada," police added.  

Anyone who is the victim of sexual assault can also reach out directly to additional resources that are available including Calgary Communities Against Sexual Abuse211 Alberta, and the Alberta One-Line for Sexual Violence.

Mantha will next appear in court on Wednesday, April 12, 2023.

Anyone with information about this case, or who is looking to report a crime, can contact the police by calling 403-266-1234. Anonymous tips can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers.