Police have arrested and charged a 12-year-old boy suspected in a string of sexual assaults against women walking on public trails and parks in Toronto last summer.
A release issued Thursday said the boy was arrested on Monday and charged with two counts of sexual assault.
As a minor, the boy’s identity is protected under the Youth Criminal Justice Act. The charges have not been proven in court.
Toronto police said in a press release the boy was arrested on Monday and charged with two counts of sexual assault. However, the boy won’t face charges connected with five of the alleged incidents because he was 11 years old at the time.
Children under 12 cannot be charged criminally in Canada.
The first incident took place on July 7, 2022, police said. The boy allegedly blocked a woman running on the Gatineau Hydro Corridor Trail just west of Birchmount Road with his bike before sexually assaulted her.
The next day, a second incident was reported in which the boy allegedly followed a woman riding her bike on the same trail, before asking if he could show her a TikTok trick before sexually assaulting her.
A few weeks later, on July 25 and July 27, the boy allegedly sexually assaulted a 52-year-old woman and a 54-year-old woman in the East Don River Trail and Wynford Heights Crescent area, respectively.
In August, police took the rare step of releasing a photo of the youth in an effort to identify him, a move that expired after 24 hours.
The last two alleged incidents took place on the same day, police said. On Sept. 6, the boy allegedly approached a woman while riding his bike in the Birchmount Road and St. Clair Avenue East area, engaged her in conversation, and then sexually assaulted her. About three hours later, he is alleged to have done the same to another woman walking on the East Don Trail.
The boy is scheduled to attend court at a later date, according to the release.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-7474, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), or at www.222tips.com.