Police have made a quick arrest in a series of midtown sex assaults they say targeted teenage girls — one of whom was assaulted twice.
Police announced today that a suspect was arrested Sunday and charged with four counts of sexual assault. He is a 32-year-old lawyer.
At a press conference, Det. Const. Matthew Pinfold laid out the alleged crimes, saying the assaults began Sept. 12, when a 15-year-old girl was approached and sexually assaulted by a man at Yonge and Eglinton at about 8 a.m.
Pinfold said the same man then approached and sexually assaulted the same 15-year-old girl four days later, also at 8 a.m. by the Eglinton subway station.
At 12:30 p.m. the same day, police allege a man approached and sexually assaulted a 14-year-old girl in the food court at the Yonge-Eglinton Centre.
Then at 8:30 p.m. the same day, police allege the same man approached and sexually assaulted a 16-year-old girl as she walked through Yonge-Bloor subway station.
Police do not believe it was coincidence the 15-year-old girl was victimized twice.
“I believe [the man] targeted her,” Pinfold said.
He said police used surveillance cameras to track the man backwards from one of the assaults to a local business near Yonge and Eglinton. He would not say what the business was, but that it is not the man place of employment.
“He was there over the lunch hours is what I’m willing to say,” Pinfold said.
He credited police work as well as several tips from the public in allowing for a quick arrest, saying after news releases were issued on Sept. 18, tips came pouring in.
“This was a great example of the public and the police working together,” Pinfold said.
Sex Crimes Unit Commander, Insp. Pauline Gray echoed those sentiments.
“I’m proud of the quick arrest,” she said.
Pinfold would not discuss the nature of the sex assaults, but said police believe there may be more victims and urged them to come forward. When pressed on what potential victims should consider to constitute sexual assault, Pinfold referred to police media releases, which outline it as any form of contact of a sexual nature, from kissing and touching to penetration. He added the victims were not physically harmed during the alleged assaults.
Francois LeSieur, 32, is facing four counts of sexual assault.
LeSieur is a lawyer in Toronto. According to his website, he previously worked in commercial litigation and now runs his own practice focusing on cross-border business and immigration.