Thursday, May 20, 2010
Man who sexually assaulted realtor, could be designated dangerous offender
JUSTICE officials are considering a dangerous offender application against a Winnipeg drifter who has a disturbing history of planned, predatory attacks across Canada.
Joseph Davis was convicted Wednesday of his latest crime in which he sexually assaulted a real estate agent after tricking her into thinking he wanted to buy some property. Davis, 41, used the bogus name of Tom Collins to set up an elaborate ruse that ended with the victim coming to his home to write up a purchase offer. Police later discovered Davis had tried similar cons on other female agents and had spent time on his computer researching the attack.
"He told many lies to many real estate agents and attempted to scam them all," Queen's Bench Justice Chris Martin said Wednesday. The judge inadvertently revealed Davis' fate when he accidentally called him "Mr. Guilty" while reading his verdict aloud in court.
Davis claimed the December 2007 incident was a big misunderstanding and he accidentally grabbed the woman while reaching for a doorway in the dark. He said he was only trying to set the agent up to steal from her, not rape her. Davis also said he "got a vibe" from the woman she might have been interested in a sexual relationship but admits he "may have read her body language wrong."
Martin said it's clear Davis knew exactly what he was doing.
"This entire scenario was a set-up," he said. "His evidence does not have a ring of truth to it... it defies common sense."
Crown attorney Melinda Murray told court she will likely seek a dangerous offender designation for Davis, which would involve an indefinite prison sentence. Davis has racked up 86 prior convictions over the past 20 years while spending time in almost every Canadian province, court was told. His past offences include multiple robberies, frauds and an attack in Halifax in which he posed as an undercover police officer and seriously assaulted an escort he hired.
Davis has been in custody since his arrest. His sentencing will be held later this year following the completion of several court-ordered reports.
The victim testified earlier this week how she received a call from Davis, who was using the fake name and claimed he wanted to purchase a new home. He claimed to have found her name through the Real Estate News, then later said he'd visited her office, saw her picture and thought she was "really good-looking." The woman said she was slightly uncomfortable but brushed aside that comment while taking him to see several residences. She eventually went to his West Kildonan apartment on the belief she would be writing a purchase offer. Davis claimed to have already secured financing and wanted to close the deal.
She said the meeting quickly turned from business to criminal when Davis grabbed her crotch and put his other hand around her neck while shoving her onto a bed. The woman still had a pen in her hand, which she used to stab Davis in the chest, shattering it on impact. She also grabbed his glasses and broke them, hoping he wouldn't be able to see without them. She ran towards the front door, with Davis now apologizing for what he'd done and even asking if they could still write up the offer. The woman fled outside, got in her vehicle and drove away. She immediately called a friend, then police.
Police executed a search warrant at Davis' home, seizing several items including a computer. Officers searched his hard drive and discovered he had been conducting disturbing online searches for photos and videos depicting violent sexual attacks against real estate agents, court was told. There was also evidence he had been scouring Winnipeg property listings and agents to find the perfect target and location to commit his crime, with at least one other agent threatening to report him to police.
I think that the real estate attack was planned and pre-meditated. This man has 86 prior convictions, which is pretty serious, however not all of them are serious offences. I would like to know more about this man's background and history.