POLITICS

Man faces 95 charges in break-ins, sex assaults in Toronto;wife also charged

10/31/2014 01:53 EDT | Updated 12/31/2014 05:59 EST
TORONTO - A Toronto man broke into dozens of homes, often while the homeowners were sleeping, took property and on numerous occasions sexually assaulted the female occupants before making an escape, "possibly" with the help of his wife, police alleged Friday.

Police said the "serial sexual predator" and his wife were arrested Wednesday in connection with 59 break-end-enter incidents that allegedly took place in Toronto between August 2011 and August of this year.

"Wednesday was a great ending to a very long investigation that people have put a lot of work into and it was successful," said Insp. Joanna Beaven-Desjardins of the Toronto police sex-crimes unit.

She alleged the man broke into the homes in the middle of the night and in the early morning hours.

"Throughout the past few years, residents have been woken up to somebody standing in their house. And, then in some occasions, there were actual physical assaults taking place and sexual assaults taking place," Beaven-Desjardins told a news conference.

"This is serious. Sexual assaults are always considered serious. But when someone actually enters your home where you feel safe especially at night when you are sleeping and you are awoken to a predator, I'd say this is one of the most heinous crimes."

Police said the suspect stole property that included electronics, jewelry, money and even one vehicle, which was allegedly used to commit further break and enters.

"We have recovered a lot of electronics, cellphones, laptops that we have to analyze to now see if there was any recordings done at the time of the offences," Beaven-Desjardins said.

She said the suspect was known to police and lived in the same area where the crimes took place.

The ages of the alleged victims "ranged dramatically," she said.

"We believe there may be many more victims both within Toronto and across our border into Peel Region," Beaven-Desjardins said.

She also praised the public's "incredible" help during the investigation.

Anieph Burton, 32, of Toronto, was arrested Wednesday and has been charged with 95 charges, including 11 counts of sexual assault, four counts of assault, three counts of overcoming resistance by choking, and 59 break-and-enter-related charges.

His wife, Jehanneiry Beaton, 31, is charged with six counts of committing break and enter and one count of break and enter with intent.

Beaven-Desjardins said that the suspect might have used nearby ravines to escape and Beaton "possibly" helped him on more than one occasion to make a quick getaway.