Sexual assault suspect fit to stand trial

A man charged with sexually assaulting and robbing an elderly woman has been deemed fit to stand trial.

A man charged with sexually assaulting and robbing an elderly woman has been deemed fit to stand trial.

Jesse Peter Toews, 25, of Red Deer will have a trial date set on Dec. 22 following an appearance on Tuesday in Red Deer provincial court.

Judge David Plosz said a report from a psychiatrist indicated Toews is “fit to stand trial.”

The report is intended for use now by the defence and Crown.

Toews had been ordered to undergo a psychiatric assessment in September but cutbacks at Alberta Hospital were believed partly to blame for the delay, defence lawyer Arnold Piragoff said earlier.

RCMP allege Toews pounced on an elderly woman and assaulted her about 9:30 a.m. on July 29 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 the animal. Toews is charged with sexual assault, forcible confinement, robbery, making death threats and mischief to property and failing to appear in court.

Toews remains in custody.

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