August 05, 2016 - 2:40 PM
KELOWNA - Police need help from the public to find potential sexual assault victims after charging a Kelowna man with several sex-related offences.
RCMP say an investigation, which started in September 2015, led to nine alleged victims located across many police jurisdictions in B.C, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Quebec.
The victims ages range from 15- to 20-years-old, according to a RCMP media release. The investigators believe most were targeted online and through social media.
The accused, Simon Rypiak, is believed to have forced victims to work as his escorts and used violence to control them, police say.
“The RCMP are concerned there are more victims who have not yet come forward to police,” Cst. Jesse O’Donaghey says in the release. “We would like to encourage these individuals to come forward for help.”
O'Donaghey says Rypiak is charged with procuring a person to have sexual intercourse, material benefit from sexual services, assault, sexual assault, assault causing bodily harm and procuring a person under 18-years-old to have sexual intercourse.
“Charges have now been officially laid against Simon Walter Rypiak of Kelowna, who has been known to use the alias Simon Ross,” O'Donaghey says in the release.
Anyone who may have been victimized, solicited, or has any information that may assist in the RCMP investigation, is asked to contact Const. Greg Willcocks of the Kelowna RCMP General Investigations Section at 250-470-6317. Remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477, leaving a tip online at www.crimestoppers.net or by texting your tip to CRIMES (274637) ktown.
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