Burnaby man charged with sexual assault after multiple groping incidents

Burnaby man charged with sexual assault after multiple groping incidents

Jorge Benjamin Bernal, 29, is facing four counts of sexual assault

A Burnaby man has been charged with sexual assault after a six-month investigation into a number of groping incidents.

Jorge Benjamin Bernal, 29, is facing four counts of sexual assault related to incidents involving teenage girls and women.

“This was a traumatic experience for these victims and our High Risk Offender Unit has been working on this investigation as a priority for a number of months,” RCMP Insp. Matt Toews said in a news release on Wednesday.

On April 12, a teenage girl was groped on Hastings Street in north Burnaby. She told police that a man ran up to her, grabbed her buttocks, and tried to talk to her before fleeing. Investigators found security footage that identified the man.

Less than a month later, on May 8, police responded to a similar incident, involving another teenage girl, on Willingdon Avenue. Security footage showed the same man as in the April assault, police said.

READ MORE: Vancouver advocate says police’s anti-groping campaign not enough

Bernal was arrested in August and released on conditions, but police say he allegedly committed two more assaults – the first on Sept. 20 on one of his case workers and the second on Nov. 6 when he allegedly groped a community support worker trying to help him find a place to live.

He is set to appear in provincial court in Vancouver on Jan. 15 and is out on bail on 22 conditions, including no contact with anyone under the age of 16 and no travel on public transit unless to an approved meeting or appointment.


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