Vancouver police have announced that they have charged a man believed to be the serial attacker who targeted women in the downtown core over a decade ago. Arturo Garcia Gorjon, a 45-year-old Vancouver resident, has been charged with four counts of sexual assault. He was arrested in July in Regina but has since been released on conditions.
Deputy Chief Constable Fiona Wilson explained that a breakthrough in the case occurred when physical evidence from three sexual assault cases between 2009 and 2010 was found to be linked to a more recent attack. After realizing that young women were being targeted, the police theorized that one person could be responsible for all four stranger attacks.
In an effort to gather new evidence and solve the cold cases, Vancouver police launched “Project Scrimmage.” This project involved placing QR codes in the washroom stalls of downtown clubs and bars to inform women about the sexual assaults and appeal for new evidence or information.
The first sexual assault occurred on Canada Day in 2009, when a 20-year-old woman was violently attacked while out for a walk near Granville Island. Another woman, aged 25, was attacked from behind while entering an apartment building in the West End on November 15 of the same year. Seven months later, a third woman was sexually assaulted in Yaletown. In all instances, the suspect managed to flee the scene and evade police.
Deputy Chief Constable Wilson credited “Project Scrimmage” as the reason Gorjon was ultimately identified as the suspect. The evidence gathered through the project played a crucial role in building the case. Sgt. Steve Addison acknowledged that there may be more victims out there and said that the police will conduct a thorough investigation into any unsolved cases in Vancouver.
Sexual assault in Vancouver’s downtown core remains a police priority, with extra officers deployed in the entertainment district to ensure public safety during special events and weekends. The case involving Arturo Garcia Gorjon highlights the importance of taking proactive measures to investigate and solve such crimes.