A Red Deer man has been sentenced to four years in prison for kidnapping and sexually assaulting a woman.
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 couple of good Samaritans 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 was to go to trial on numerous charges earlier this month, but pleaded guilty to kidnapping, sexual assault and breaching a court order.
Ward was sentenced to four years in prison to be served at the same time for each of the kidnapping and sexual assault charges. He was also sentenced to six months for breaching a court order, also to be served concurrently.
Taking into account 621 days granted for time spend in pre-trial custody, Ward has 839 days left to serve. He was also given a lifetime weapons prohibition.
An alleged accomplice was found not guilty of kidnapping in April 2019.