Edmonton police charge Ontario man in sexual assault incident from 1981

Mar 4 2020, 11:29 am

Edmonton Police Service have charged an Ontario man in relation to a sexual assault case that took place in northeast Edmonton in 1981.

According to EPS, using modern investigative technologies, police were able to find a DNA profile of the suspect and then matched it against the National DNA Data Bank to identify and charge 66-year-old John Edward Beausoleil.

“On Friday, September 18, 1981, the Edmonton Police Service responded to the report of a sexual assault in the area of Lancaster Terrace and 156 Avenue,” said a release from EPS.

“It was reported to police that at approximately 3:30 am, a 36-year-old female was exiting her vehicle in a parkade when she was accosted by an unknown male and sexually assaulted. The male then reportedly took the female’s purse and fled the area.”

Despite a thorough investigation, police were unable to identify or locate a suspect at the time.

“In October 2018, investigators with the EPS Historical Crimes Section re-evaluated the file  using current day forensic testing,” said the release.

“With the assistance of the Ontario Provincial Police, Beausoleil, who was 27 years old at the time of the assault, was arrested at his residence in Orillia, Ontario, on Wednesday, February 26, 2020.”

According to police, Beausoleil has been transported back to Edmonton to face charges of rape and robbery under the 1981 Criminal Code of Canada.

“Despite our best efforts, historical files can be difficult to solve,” says Staff Sergeant Ryan Tebb with the EPS Historical Crimes Section.

“We are pleased that our review of this particular investigation was successful, and today’s technology was able to assist us with an arrest.”

EPS recently launched an online tool to help victims of historic sexual assault file claims online, and to better empower survivors to decide if they wish to press charges.

In Alberta, and in almost all provinces in Canada, there is no limitation period with respect to claims of sexual assault or battery.