A CFB Shilo soldier faces a sexual assault charge after a man grabbed a woman in the Brandon cemetery and exposed himself.
Police say the victim did the smart thing — she scared off her assailant by screaming.
“The more attention you can draw to yourself, in this case, the better,” Brandon Police Service Const. Ron Burgess said.
The assault happened shortly before 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday.
It’s alleged that a man had his pants open and was fondling himself as he followed a 20-year-old woman as she walked at or near the Brandon Municipal Cemetery.
The woman and man weren’t known to each other, Burgess said.
Police say the woman was chased, grabbed and somehow knocked to the ground in the cemetery by the man who exposed his genitals and made “sexual advances” on her.
The man released the woman and ran when she screamed.
The victim — who doesn’t seem to have suffered any serious injuries — then called 911.
Police searched the area and couldn’t immediately find a suspect.
The Brandon Sun has learned, however, that police had a suspect in mind based on previous investigations.
Within the first six months of 2012, there were at least 10 reports of men committing “indecent” acts in public, in both Brandon and Shilo.
They’re strikingly similar to the Brandon cemetery incident.
The reports consisted of men exposing their genitals and touching themselves or masturbating in front of females. In some cases, the women were grabbed.
Two CFB Shilo soldiers were charged in relation to one incident, each from early 2012.
Charges were dropped against one soldier, while another was convicted of disgraceful conduct at an August 2012 military trial and sentenced to 12 days in a military jail.
He was masturbating while watching two women in a changing room at the base recreation centre in May 2012.
Otherwise, there was no word of arrests made in connection with the other indecent acts.
But it appears they’ve now resumed, as the Sun has learned there have been at least a couple of complaints in recent weeks of women being followed by a man who had his penis exposed.
That includes one incident on March 31 in which a man followed a woman as she walked to work, touched himself, then exposed himself and laughed.
His description is similar to that of the suspects from last year.
Based on these investigations, police had a suspect in mind for the Brandon cemetery case.
Two to three hours after that incident, they stopped a vehicle on Braecrest Drive and found a suspect who matched the description of the man from the cemetery.
After being interviewed, he was arrested and then released by police with a court date.
A 25-year-old man, a CFB Shilo soldier, will appear in court on May 27 to face a charge of sexual assault.