A significant development in a series of sexual assault cases from over 14 years ago has resulted in the apprehension and charges against a 45-year-old suspect. The Vancouver Police Department never ceased investigating these cases, even when they turned cold, maintaining the hope of finding the crucial clue that would solve the crimes.
Originally, Vancouver police were examining three sexual assault cases that had occurred in 2009. However, their attention was drawn to a fourth case, which prompted a renewed investigation. The first assault occurred on Canada Day in 2009 when a 20-year-old woman was attacked and sexually assaulted near Granville Island. Following the incident, the suspect managed to escape, eluding the police’s attempts to locate them.
A second assault occurred on November 15, 2009, when a 25-year-old woman was sexually assaulted while trying to enter an apartment building in the West End. Several months later, a third woman fell victim to an attack in Yaletown. These three cases formed the basis for Project Scrimmage, a Vancouver police initiative launched in 2011 with the aim of acquiring new information and evidence related to the crimes.
After more than 12 years, investigators made a breakthrough in the cases. They discovered evidence that linked the unsolved sexual assaults to a cold case from Christmas Eve in 2010 that took place in the downtown core. This evidence led the Vancouver Police Department to the 45-year-old suspect located in Regina. On July 21, the investigators traveled to Saskatchewan, apprehended the suspect, and brought him back to Vancouver to face charges.
The suspect, Arturo Garcia Gorjon, has been charged with four counts of sexual assault relating to incidents that occurred between July 1, 2009, and December 24, 2010. Gorjon’s next court appearance is scheduled for September 12, 2023. This arrest and subsequent charges offer hope for answers and accountability that had been elusive for many years. The Vancouver Police Department remains committed to supporting victims and holding offenders responsible for their actions.