A 22-year-old man has been arrested in connection with a recent sexual assault that occurred on campus, says an email sent out to all U of S faculty, staff and students today.
The North Battleford man has been charged with one count of sexual assault and one count of uttering threats to cause harm and death. He will face the Justice of the Peace tonight and is expected to make a court appearance May 28.
The Saskatoon Police Service made the arrest after receiving information from the public after reports of the incident circulated.
The sexual assault took place around 1 p.m. May 23 on the U of S campus. The female victim reported being convinced to go with the man to a parking lot near Seminary Crescent. When they arrived, the suspect sexually assaulted the female before fleeing on foot.
UPDATE (28/5/2012): The University of Saskatchewan has released an email to all faculty, staff, and students regarding a connection between the suspect arrested following the May 23 sexual assault and a robbery that occurred on campus May 10. The text of the email can be read below:
“The Saskatoon Police Service has informed us a 22 year old male was scheduled to appear in Provincial Court this morning charged in connection with a robbery with violence which occurred this month.
At approximately 12:00 p.m., May 10, 2012, a female was jogging on the MVA trail toward the train bridge on the east side of the South Saskatchewan River. She was grabbed from behind by a male who threatened to physically harm her. The suspect robbed the woman of her iPod and fled the scene. She was not physically harmed.
The male is also facing charges in connection with a second incident, a sexual assault which occurred on May 23, 2012 on the University of Saskatchewan Saskatoon campus. He will also be appearing in Provincial Court on those charges.”
Josiah Jerome Blackplume, the 22-year-old man arrested in connection with the assaults, pleaded guilty to robbery, uttering threats and sexual assault charges in provincial court May 31. On June 1, Judge Rosemary Weisgerber accepted the Crown and the defence’s joint recommendation of a four-year term and sentenced Blackplume to four years in prison.
Blackplume must also comply with the national sex offender registry for the rest of his life and cannot own or possess a firearm within 10 years of his release.
Prior to his arrest, he was reported to police by his wife, a U of S student, who had recognized him in a surveillance photo sent via email notification to all students, staff and faculty of the university.
Blackplume was then found by North Battleford RCMP attempting to commit suicide in the North Saskatchewan River and was put in protective custody for his threats of further attempts.
Defence lawyer Deb Hopkins said that Blackplume was sexually abused as a child and now suffers from schizophrenia.
Weisgerber advised that Blackplume be transferred to the Regional Psychiatric Centre or to a similar facility.
The Sheaf apologizes for the delay in publishing the most recent update.