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Vancouver police may have just solved a 30+ year-old sexual assault case

Evidence from the 1989 crime scene was recently linked to a 55-year old man
After new evidence came to light in 2017, the Vancouver Police Department managed to identify a suspect in a 1989 child sexual assault case.

In the early hours of Feb. 16, 1989, a teenage girl was pulled into a car and sexually assaulted near East 16th Avenue and Main Street. More than thirty years later the Vancouver police believe they may have solved the case.

When the assault was committed VPD detectives investigated and obtained evidence from the crime scene but couldn’t identify a suspect. Twenty-eight years later in 2017 new evidence came to light and the VPD assigned a team of investigators to re-examine the case. Then, just earlier this year, the BC Prosecution Service approved charges of sexual assault, assault, uttering threats, theft under $5,000, and forcible confinement against 55-year-old Joseph Richardson.

“Crimes against children can cause life-long trauma and stress that may never fully go away,” says Cnst. Tania Visintin, VPD “Even when a case goes cold, we never give up hope that we will one day find the missing clue that helps bring closure and accountability.”

Richardson was arrested last month in Ottawa and remains in custody.