Lawyer fights transfer for man charged in sex assault of elderly woman

A lawyer pleaded with court Thursday to keep his client in Red Deer so he can consult with him.

A lawyer pleaded with court Thursday to keep his client in Red Deer so he can consult with him.

Arnold Piragoff asked Judge Darrel Riemer to issue an order holding Jesse Peter Toews, 25, of Red Deer at the Red Deer Remand Centre for two weeks so he can review Crown disclosure of evidence against him.

Toews is alleged to have sexually assaulted, confined and robbed an elderly woman last summer.

“It’s deeply disturbing to me,” Piragoff said of his client’s constant remand transfers.

Piragoff was also set to receive an offer from Crown prosecutor Tony Bell to resolve the charges and needed his client near to discuss the offer.

The Edmonton-based lawyer said he has made similar requests to at least two other Red Deer provincial court judges but it hasn’t worked.

“Immediately the day after (he appears in Red Deer) court he’s whisked away to Calgary,” Piragoff said.

Piragoff said if Toews isn’t kept in Red Deer he will be in the same predicament again in two weeks when the next scheduled appearance was set.

He would again have to adjourn the charges at the Feb. 4 appearance, he said.

Riemer ordered that Toews be retained in Red Deer for at least 48 hours.

However, Piragoff said that does him little good because he had an Edmonton court appearance set for later Thursday and would be in court all day Friday in Edmonton.

Riemer told Piragoff to make a formal request for a judicial review.

RCMP allege Toews jumped an elderly woman and assaulted her about 9:30 a.m. on July 29, 2009, in a wooded area near 67th Street and 52nd Avenue. The woman’s purse and watch were stolen in the attack.

It is also alleged that Toews threw someone into a closet on Aug. 6. He then smashed a cellphone and fled the scene.

A cruelty to animals charge was also laid after Toews allegedly threw a kitten against a wall, killing it. Toews is charged with sexual assault, forcible confinement, robbery, making death threats and mischief to property and failing to appear in court.

Toews has a scheduled trial on Aug. 23 on assault and mischief charges.

jwilson@bprda.wpengine.com