RCMP have laid nearly 20 charges against three men in connection with a string of violent sexual assaults against sex trade workers in Surrey.
According to Surrey RCMP, it was a nearly two-year investigation that led to 17 charges against Simranpreet Singh Dhillon, Sukhraj Singh Chahal and Gurjinder Sodha on April 11.
The charges stem from two alleged incidents in 2012 in which sex trade workers were picked up by strangers who drove them to secluded areas and sexually and physically assaulted them.
In the first, on Aug. 12, 2012, a woman allegedly was picked up in the area of King George Boulevard and 91st Avenue, driven to Colebrook Road, and physically and sexually assaulted. Dhillon and Chahal are charged in connection with this case.
In the second incident on Oct. 18, 2012, another sex trade worker allegedly was picked up near King George Boulevard and 105th Avenue, driven to a secluded area of Colebrook Road and assaulted sexually and physically.
The second woman suffered serious but non-life-threatening injuries and endured a lengthy hospital recovery. Dhillon and Sodha have been charged in this case.
Dhillon faces two counts of sexual assault with a weapon, two counts of possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, two counts of uttering threats, two counts of unlawful confinement, two counts of robbery and one count of aggravated sexual assault. Both Chahal and Sodha face charges of sexual assault with a weapon, unlawful confinement and robbery.
“The relentless work that these investigators went through to bring the (suspects) in front of the courts is just amazing,” said Cpl. Bert Paquet of the Surrey RCMP. “They would just not give up until we had enough evidence to charge them.”
The lengthy RCMP investigation included regular contact with the targeted group of sex trade workers, and officers are concerned there may be more victims who have yet to come forward.
“The victims were engaged in high-risk activities, but nobody deserves to be assaulted and treated the way they were,” said Paquet.
Investigators are asking anyone with information to contact Surrey RCMP at 604-599-0502 or CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.