Saturday, May 18, 2024
HomeWorld NewsCanada newsMan accused of drugging, raping Calgary sex trade workers faced similar charges...

Man accused of drugging, raping Calgary sex trade workers faced similar charges last year: court docs

An Alberta man accused of confining, drugging and raping sex trade workers was first charged with sexual assault last year before Calgary police joined forces with the RCMP and two additional women were identified.

Richard Mantha faces 16 charges involving three women, who police allege were targeted and victimized by the 59-year-old resident of Rocky View County. 

According to a lawsuit filed in the Court of King’s Bench, Mantha worked as a truck driver for a Calgary company. 

He’s faced charges before, from Whitecourt, Alta., a town northwest of Edmonton, and Sherwood Park, Alta., just east of Edmonton — to Calgary and Strathmore, Alta.

Mantha is due in court on Wednesday, when he will face a judge on his 13 new charges.

Defence lawyer Kim Arial declined to comment on her client’s new charges.

Police allege that between December 2021 and March 2023, at least three women were approached on 19th Avenue S.E. in Calgary’s Forest Lawn neighbourhood. They were allegedly drugged and taken to a rural property east of the city where they were physically and sexually assaulted.

Police spent five days over the Easter weekend searching that property — an acreage about 16 kilometres east of Chestermere, Alta. — on Vale View Road. Investigators appeared to focus on the outbuilding where Mantha was living.

The property is owned by a couple who have been renting a shop to Mantha for about two years. 

Multiple police vehicles and a blue tent are pictured.
Police set up a tent while collecting evidence from the rural property. (Tom Ross/CBC)

Last summer, Mantha was arrested by Strathmore RCMP and charged with sexual assault and assault causing bodily harm against a woman.

The case was working its way through the court system, but three weeks ago Mantha was accused of missing a court appearance.

Warrants were issued and Mantha was charged with failing to attend court. 

Around the same time, Calgary police became involved, investigating Mantha for crimes related to Calgary sex trade workers. 

Homicide unit involved in search

After sharing information with RCMP, the two agencies worked together, culminating in the days-long search and a new set of charges. 

Four of those charges — sexual assault with a knife, assault with a weapon, unlawful confinement and administering a noxious substance — involve Mantha’s first alleged victim, court documents show.

The rest involve two other women Mantha is accused of confining and sexually assaulting.

Police say the investigation remains ongoing and have not ruled out laying further charges.

In a press conference on Monday, Supt. Cliff O’Brien said police are examining previous missing person cases and said the search could be expanded to other properties.

The police homicide unit, forensic officers and cadaver dogs were used throughout the search.

Previous criminal history 

Mantha has a criminal history in Alberta for offences that include unauthorized possession of a firearm, possession of stolen property under $5,000 and failing to appear in court. Since 2016, Mantha’s stiffest sentence was a 50-day jail term.

Court documents show what Mantha was doing for work, at least until 2019. 

That year, he was employed as a truck driver for a Calgary company. 

Mantha was sued for $550,000 by a man who claimed the trucker had driven over his Volkswagon while the two were stopped at a red light on 112th Avenue near Country Hills Boulevard N.W.

The lawsuit was settled out of court in 2020.

More Related Articles

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here
Captcha verification failed!
CAPTCHA user score failed. Please contact us!

5 Days Trending

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website.