Vancouver police investigation leads to charges in decades-old sex assault

Vancouver, BC – Vancouver Police believe they’ve solved a decades-old child sexual assault, after evidence from the crime scene was linked to a suspect more than 30 years later.

“Crimes against children can cause life-long trauma and stress that may never fully go away,” says Constable Tania Visintin. “Even when a case goes cold, we never give up hope that we will one-day find the missing clue that helps bring closure and accountability.”

In the early hours of February 16, 1989, a teenaged girl was pulled into a car and sexually assaulted near East 16th Avenue and Main Street. VPD detectives investigated the case and obtained evidence from the crime scene, but couldn’t identify a suspect at the time.

Vancouver Police Department
Vancouver Police Department

“We never stop investigating violent crimes” adds Constable Visintin. “In 2017, after receiving new information, we assigned a team of investigators to re-examine this case, and that team managed to identify a suspect.”

Earlier this year, B.C. Prosecution Service approved charges of sexual assault, assault, uttering threats, forcible confinement and theft under $5,000 against 55-year-old Joseph Richardson.

Richardson was arrested last month in Ottawa, and remains in custody.

Vancouver Police Department



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