A Langley man was arrested Friday in connection with a brutal assault of a South Surrey senior in her own home last month.
Surrey RCMP announced the arrest that evening, and confirmed this afternoon that several charges have been sworn against a 42-year-old: aggravated sexual assault, forcible confinement, break-and-enter, robbery, disguise with intent and use of imitation firearm.
According to a news release, the accused is not previously known to police.
Stephen Thomas Morse appeared in Surrey Provincial Court Tuesday morning.
“On behalf of the Surrey RCMP I would like to thank the victim, her family, and the entire community for their tremendous support and assistance in advancing this investigation,” Chief Supt. Bill Fordy, said in Friday’s release. “This type of crime is repulsive and I’d like to also acknowledge the men and women that work at this detachment who worked relentlessly to advance this important investigation.”
The “incomprehensible” incident occurred in a Grandview-area home Aug. 12, when a man entered the residence, presented a weapon and restrained the 70-year-old resident.
The intruder demanded cash and other items, but when the woman wouldn’t comply, he physically and sexually assaulted her, causing significant injuries, then fled.
Police issued a warning to the community early the next morning, followed by photos of a suspect using an ATM in Brookswood on the afternoon of the assault.
A few days later, the victim told Peace Arch News by email that she was getting “stronger every day.”
Last Wednesday, Staff Sgt. Dale Carr had told PAN that officers had made the case a priority, but that there was no new information to share and that tips from the public had waned.
“We’re hoping as we’re sifting through bits of information and details (that) we come across something that leads us to… an arrest and charge,” Carr said.
“But we’re not there yet.”
Tuesday, in addition to confirming charges, Surrey RCMP credited tips from the public for helping identify a person of interest last week. Constant surveillance was maintained while detectives gathered evidence to support charges, Cpl. Scotty Schumann said.
Investigators are now appealing for anyone who may have seen Morse or with information on his whereabouts prior to his arrest Sept. 4, to contact them at 604-599-0502 or Crime Stoppers, if they wish to remain anonymous, at 1-800-222-TIPS or www.solvecrime.ca
Quote file #2015-116485.