Police say they have arrested a “serial predator” who broke into 59 homes in the Etobicoke area over the last three years and on a number of occasions sexually assaulted women who were sleeping inside.
The suspect’s wife is also facing seven charges in connection with the investigation.
The incidents have taken place in the early morning hours in the eastern and central Etobicoke areas with a large number of them clustered between Bloor Street to the north, The Queensway to the south, Islington Avenue to the west and Royal York Road to the east.
Anieph Fitzroy Burton is shown in a handout photo. Burton is facing 95 charges in connection with a string of Etobicoke break ins and sexual assaults. (Toronto Police)
Though the break-ins have taken place in a period spanning from August, 2011 to August 2014, police say they usually took place in bunches with the suspect often targeting a number of homes in the same neighbourhood.
On one such spree on Sept. 7, 2012 the masked suspect allegedly broke into a home near Bloor Street and Islington Avenue at around 3:10 a.m. and sexually assaulted a sleeping 62-year-old woman before fleeing on foot. About 30 minutes later a man matching the same description allegedly broke into a home near Royal York Road and The Queensway and proceeded to sexually assault a 70-year-old woman asleep inside.
Though many of the victims were alone at the time, others were home with their partners or other family members, leading police to believe that single women were not targeted and that the break ins and sexual assaults were “sometimes a crime of opportunity,” Beaven-Desjardins said.
The arrest of the suspect on Wednesday follows an “exhaustive investigation” and several close calls where the suspect was pursued by officers but not apprehended.
Speaking with reporters on Friday, Beaven-Desjardins said that it is “possible” that the suspect’s wife aided him in fleeing the scene of some of the break-and-enters.
Anieph Fitzroy Burton, 32, of Toronto, was arrested on Wednesday and charged with 95 offences, including 11 counts of sexual assaults, three counts of overcoming resistance by choking, one count of sexual assault causing bodily harm and four counts of assault.
Burton’s wife, 31-year-old Jehanneiry Beaton, was also arrested on Wednesday and charged with six counts of break-and-enter and one count of break-and-enter with intent.
Police say they believe there could be additional victims out there.
“There may be many more victims both in Toronto and across our border into Peel Region,” Beaven-Desjardins said. “We encourage the public to come forth and report any incidents related to this.”
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