Providing readers with the latest crime and justice news from around Canada but with particular interest to Winnipeg, and my Liberal minded opinions about decisions and issues pertaining to crime, justice, and sentencing. I advocate for prison and criminal justice reform, more prisoners' rights, rehabilitation and community based corrections. I believe society needs to address the root causes of crime and underlying factors as opposed to simply "getting tough" and over-relying on imprisonment.
Welcome to my Crime and Justice blog! I am a 19 year old criminal justice student at the University of Winnipeg. I advocate for prisoners' rights, human rights, equality and criminal justice/prison system reforms.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Alleged tanning peeper, is charged again, suggesting a non-isolated previous attack
IT was a shocking crime at a downtown Winnipeg tanning salon -- a young woman accosted in a private room by an unknown intruder who had scaled a wall to spy on her.
Now, evidence is mounting to suggest this was not an isolated attack. Winnipeg police have expanded their investigation and laid a slew of new criminal charges against the alleged voyeur believed to be responsible for the November 2009 incident.
Russel Bruce Cassels, 29, is now accused of sexually assaulting and secretly videotaping two former girlfriends over a lengthy period of time, according to court documents obtained by the Free Press.
One of the women claims she was attacked between June 2008 and August 2009, while the other has cited incidents between July 2009 and February 2010.
On Tuesday, Winnipeg Police Service spokesman Const. Rob Carver said two women recently came forward to shed new light on the existing police probe.
"This is a fairly extensive set of circumstances. We would be casting the net very broad, certainly looking to see where else offences may have been committed and against whom," Carver said.
Cassels was first arrested Dec. 4 and charged with an incident at TanFX that happened days earlier. The 20-year-old woman began screaming for help and the suspect responded by pushing down the lid of the tanning bed so she couldn't escape.
He then fled the facility, located in the underground Winnipeg Square at 360 Main St.
The victim was emotionally traumatized but not physically injured.
Police charged Cassels with voyeurism, break and enter, forcible confinement and a break and enter-related charge. He was released on bail days later, despite objections from the Crown.
Police seized a cellular phone from the accused which allegedly contained a database of several city addresses which included "shower times" for some of the female residents.
Police began visiting several homes in early December to speak with the occupants. A 21-year-old woman said police showed up at her Osborne Village residence to inform her the house she shares with four roommates was on the list.
None of the women had ever seen the accused before. No additional charges have been laid to this point involving those incidents.
Cassels was rearrested on Feb. 23 after allegedly breaching conditions of his bail by assaulting one of his ex-girlfriends. He was granted bail the next day, with the Crown once again opposed.
Police continued to investigate and uncovered additional evidence involving the girlfriend, and another former partner who came forward. Cassels was arrested again on March 12 and has been in custody ever since. His new charges include two more counts of voyeurism, forcible confinement, sexual assault and assault.
When I look at the type of attacks and activities that this man has been doing and planning, I see a potential sex offender. Someday, spying on women might not arouse his as much, causing him to move on based on his fantasies, towards sexually assaulting, kidnapping and possibly even killing women. Sex offenders start off with relatively minor crimes and move along a continuum. What I want to know, is why this man was released on bail, TWICE?! Especially after he breached the conditions of his first bail received? It baffles me but at least he is in custody now.