New Westminster Police urging sexual assault victims to come forward

New Westminster Police are once again urging anyone who may have been sexually assaulted at a local clinic to come forward.

In August, the New Westminster Police Department’s major crime unit arrested an adult male in relation to an allegation of sexual assault. An adult woman from New Westminster alleged she was receiving a massage at the Healthland Clinic on Sixth Street when she was sexually assaulted during the treatment.

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Police identified and arrested the suspect, who was released on conditions after charges of sexual assault were approved by Crown counsel. At that time, police indicated they believe there may have been additional victims.

On Oct. 26, the New Westminster Police Department issued an updated news release stating that detectives have identified additional victims who were allegedly sexually assaulted by the same man. 

“Our investigators believe there may be additional victims who still have not yet come forward,” added police spokesperson Sgt. Sanjay Kumar. “We want to ensure that if you have been a victim of sexual assault, you will be heard, and we will offer you the resources and ongoing support that you require.”

According to the news release, the New Westminster Police Department created a special investigations unit (SIU) in 2018 to provide a victim-centred approach to sexual assault investigations. The unit consists of one community-based counsellor and one police detective.

“This team ensures a safe place for a survivor to tell their story,” said the press release. “Importantly, the survivor guides the process and can choose to work exclusively with the community counsellor or both the counsellor and the detective. The survivor also receives assistance and updates from the NWPD SIU beginning at the time of reporting, through to the end of the process, and regardless if it takes place inside or outside of the courts. Ensuring the use of trauma-informed practice, the New Westminster Police strives to serve the community by providing support during a police investigation and court proceeding.”

Anyone with more information, or who may have been a victim of a similar offence, is asked to contact the New Westminster Police at 604-525-5411.

In February, Surrey RCMP advised the public of an ongoing investigation of two alleged sexual assaults at Healthland Clinic on King George Boulevard in Surrey, where two victims were allegedly sexually assaulted by an employee while receiving a massage treatment. At that time, police said the suspect had performed massages at both locations and urged any other victims to come forward.

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