A 50-year-old transient accused of sexually assaulting an 18-year-old girl is facing 17 counts of sexual assault, 17 counts of sexual exploitation of a person with a disability and failing to comply with probation.
Patrick Pearsall,50, was arrested on August 15. He will appear in court on August 20.
It’s alleged that the accused used social media to meet the special needs teenager who, police say, has the mind of a 12-year-old.
“The victim was invited to come to Toronto by a third party at the request of Mr. Pearsall. Once she arrived, she was sexually assaulted numerous times over a two-month period,” Detective Sergeant Kim Gross said, at a news conference at Toronto Police headquarters on August 19.
Gross said the third party was an acquaintance of Pearsall.
“That person is still talking to investigators,” she said. “At this point, I think I can safely say she has some issues of her own that affected her judgment.”
Police say Pearsall, who is known to them, has been in numerous other parts of the province, including Belleville, Brighton, Barrie, Guelph, Trenton, Cornwall, Ottawa, London, as well as Nova Scotia and Alberta.
“It’s alleged he targets vulnerable girls who are challenged or at-risk,” said Gross. “We are looking to see if there are more victims out there who want to come forward. As of this morning, we have identified two more potential victims through the help of London Police. He’s currently unemployed and we are asking anyone with information to contact the Sex Crimes Unit and we will investigate.”
Gross said the two potential victims, who are 18 and younger, are not from Toronto.
Anyone with information can contact the Sex Crimes Unit at (416) 808-8500; Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416−222−TIPS (8477), online at 222tips.com, text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637), or Leave A Tip on Facebook.
At the same press conference, Detective Daniel Luff updated the media on the arrest of a man accused of six sexual assaults, including three in High Park in a 24-hour span on May 3 and 4, 2015.
On each occasion, the accused approached the woman and sexually assaulted her along a pathway in High Park.
On August 17, Mark James Towell, 36, was arrested while in custody and charged with three counts of sexual assault.
He was in custody for similar offences allegedly committed on October 25, 2014 in the Finch Ave. W and Yonge St. area, June 6, 2015 in Beltline Trail Park and June 30, 2015 on the Kay Gardner Beltline pathway.
He was arrested about four hours after the June 30 sexual assault and was in custody pending his trial.
“We have evidence that links all the different cases together,” said Luff.