Toronto police have made an arrest after allegedly linking a suspect’s DNA to four separate sex assaults that took place in Toronto and Collingwood over a four-year period.
Dipesh Patel, 34, of Toronto, is facing a slew of charges including sexual assault, forcible confinement, robbery, extortion and threatening death, among others.
A judge ordered him remanded in custody, citing the violent nature of the alleged attacks. His next court date is set for January 17, 2020.
In the first incident, police say a woman got off a TTC bus near Dufferin Street and Rogers Road at around 1 a.m. on July 28, 2015, and was dragged into a nearby alley and sexually assaulted.
Two years later at around 1:20 a.m. on New Year’s Day in Collingwood, police say a 17-year-old girl was forced into a car and sexually assaulted. At that point police say they were able to conclude through DNA that the same suspect was responsible for both attacks.
A third incident took place on July 15, 2019. Police say a 28-year-old woman ordered a vehicle to the Lake Shore Boulevard West and Strachan Avenue area using a rideshare app, and was picked up by the suspect who pretended he was her driver.
“She got into the vehicle asking if it was her rideshare and the driver led her to believe he was in fact her driver,” Supt. Pauline Gray said at the time.
Police say the suspect drove her to a parking lot near Jane Street and Eglinton Avenue where he sexually assaulted and threatened her.
The same suspect was arrested and charged with sexual assault in November 2019 after a 22-year-old woman said she was at Rebel Nightclub on Polson Pier and lost consciousness before waking up inside a vehicle allegedly being driven by Patel.
Police say he drove her to an unknown location where she was sexually assaulted.
Patel’s arrest in November is what linked him to the previous cases, police said, after the alleged victim was able to provide a licence plate, breaking the case open.
Watch the full police press conference below.