Man, 49, charged after ‘heinous’ break and enter, sexual assault of 2 teen girls, Winnipeg police say

WARNING: This story contains details of abuse and sexual assault.

A 49-year-old man has been charged after he allegedly broke into a North End apartment suite and sexually assaulted two teenage girls shortly after a failed attempt to break into a nearby home, Winnipeg police say.

On June 13 around 5:20 p.m., a man watched a mother and two children in their yard from across the street in Winnipeg’s St. John’s neighbourhood, police said in a Monday news release. 

The woman took her children inside and locked the doors, but the man tried to break into the home, police said. He was scared off by another person who was inside.

Police were called and they started an investigation, but about 10 minutes later, a man went to a nearby apartment building and broke into a suite.

The man had a syringe and confronted two teenage girls in the suite, before forcing them into a bedroom, where he threatened to kill them and physically and sexually assaulted them, police said.

The teens called for help when the man passed out, police said. He was arrested by police and the teens were taken to hospital for treatment.

Incidents appear random

The teens and the mother did not know the man and both incidents appear to be random, Winnipeg police Const. Dani McKinnon said at a news conference on Monday.

“This is a very heinous event,” she said, calling the two teens brave for speaking with police. “Certainly a very tragic outcome, and it’ll take some time for healing, and resources will reach out to victims in this matter.”

The two teens are under 18, but McKinnon did not say their exact ages.

A 49-year-old Winnipeg man has been charged with break, enter and commit sexual assault, two counts of sexual assault, sexual interference, invitation to sexual touching, two counts of assault, two counts of uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm, and breaking into and entering a dwelling house with intent to cause an offence.

The man is “very well known” to police, McKinnon said.

He is being held in custody.

For anyone who has been sexually assaulted, there is support available through crisis lines and local support services via the Ending Violence Association of Canada database. ​​If you’re in immediate danger or fear for your safety or that of others around you, please call 911.