WINNIPEG, MB. - Sunday the Sex Crimes Unit responded to the report of a female teenager who had been seriously sexually assaulted.
At approximately 3:45 a.m., the victim was walking along the river trail behind Churchill High School when she was grabbed by an unknown male and sexually assaulted. She managed to free herself and ran for help.
Later this same day, at approximately 6:00 p.m., a female in her twenties was jogging along the river trail near Harkness Avenue when an unknown male came up from the riverbank and attacked her. He grabbed hold of her from behind and pulled her to the ground. The victim screamed and was able to escape.
On June 12, the Winnipeg Police Service had issued a public advisory regarding another assault against a female victim at Cockburn Street and Churchill Drive.
Investigators have determined that between April and August 2021, several incidents involving females being physically accosted at various points along the Red River Trail system. The victims were grabbed from behind, pulled to the ground, and threatened with a weapon.
The victims were all female, aged between fifteen to late thirties.
The incidents varied from the early evening hours when it was still light out into the early morning hours when it was dark outside. All the incidents occurred along the west Red River trail from the Osborne Bridge, south along Churchill Drive, to the Elm Park footbridge at Jubilee Avenue.
While investigators are unable to definitively link all the incidents, the Winnipeg Police Service cautions the public to:
- walk/run along the trails with a partner when possible
- tell someone the route you are taking
- avoid poorly lit paths or running/walking when it is dark
- stick to populated paths when running/walking/cycling
- carry a cellphone and/or personal alarm device
- run without headphones
- if you are confronted, be loud and shout for help
This investigation is continuing by members of the Sex Crimes Unit. Anyone with information that may assist investigators is asked to call the Sex Crimes Unit at 204-986-6245 or Crime Stoppers at 204-786-TIPS (8477).