Toronto sex attacker in custody

A suspected serial sex attacker is in custody after a woman was sexually assaulted at a church north of Toronto.

The 23-year-old man had been living in the Toronto area for at least four years, police said on Thursday, adding that he has no fixed address but spends time in the neighbourhood.

“He did come into proximity with the complainants,” said Detective Shane Rowe. “One of the complainants has known him for several years.”

The assault at the worship centre in East Toronto took place at 8.50pm on Wednesday. The victim was alone in the room when the man allegedly pinned her down to the ground. A photograph of the suspect wearing all black showed him holding the index finger of his left hand.

After the man fled, he left behind the suspect’s jacket, which is being examined for DNA. Police are now seeking possible victims from a months-long period.

“It’s generally an isolated attack so we’re trying to understand the motive behind that,” Rowe said.

Rowe is encouraging anyone who has been the victim of a sexual assault in the past three years, or who thinks they may have known the man, to contact police. He said this man has led a “pretty distinctive” life.

“He doesn’t belong to a school or an organisation where he has the skills and experience that may lead him to be an out-of-the-area resident,” he said.

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