Man accused of 2018 Red Deer kidnapping going to trial next June

Police responded to call alleging woman was forced into a vehicle in Red Deer in October 2018

A man accused of kidnapping and sexually assaulting a woman last October will go to trial in June.

Red Deer RCMP said they were called to a gas station near 39th Street and 40th Avenue at about 7 a.m. on Oct. 17, 2018, after a witness reported seeing a woman apparently being forced into a Chevrolet Avalanche.

A possible victim and suspect were quickly identified by police.

In the early afternoon, a good Samaritan couple encountered one of the suspects and the victim southeast of Red Deer and drove them to Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre.

Shortly after 3 p.m., police, acting on a tip, found the alleged victim and a suspect at a residence near the South Hill.

The woman was injured, but did not require hospitalization.

A man was arrested and taken into custody. An alleged accomplice was arrested in the evening. Both suspects were known to the woman, said police.

Ernest Frederick Ward, then-47, was charged with kidnapping, forcible confinement, assault, sexual assault, uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm, obstructing justice and two counts of failing to comply with court orders.

Ward’s trial will take place in Red Deer provincial court June 5 to 8.

The alleged accomplice was found not guilty of kidnapping last April.

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