Charges in 1989 child sexual assault in Vancouver

VANCOUVER Police announced on Tuesday that they believe they’ve solved a decades-old child sexual assault, after evidence from the crime scene was linked to a suspect more than 30 years later.

“Crimes against children can cause life-long trauma and stress that may never fully go away,” said Constable Tania Visintin. “Even when a case goes cold, we never give up hope that we will one day find the missing clue that helps bring closure and accountability.”

In the early hours of February 16, 1989, a teenaged girl was pulled into a car and sexually assaulted near East 16th Avenue and Main Street. VPD detectives investigated the case and obtained evidence from the crime scene, but couldn’t identify a suspect at the time.

“We never stop investigating violent crimes” said Visintin. “In 2017, after receiving new information, we assigned a team of investigators to re-examine this case, and that team managed to identify a suspect.”

Earlier this year, B.C. Prosecution Service approved charges of sexual assault, assault, uttering threats, forcible confinement and theft under $5,000 against 55-year-old Joseph Richardson.

Richardson was arrested last month in Ottawa, and remains in custody.