A Qualicum Beach, B.C. man convicted of harassing and threatening dozens of B.C. women on the phone has been arrested for alleged sexual assault.
Oceanside RCMP said Friday they arrested 34-year-old Joel Perry on Sept. 10 in connection with the alleged assault against an elderly female in Qualicum Beach on Aug. 19.
Police say Perry allegedly confronted the victim while she was walking her dog near the Qualicum Beach Civic Centre, calling out to her while masturbating in the nearby woods.
Perry is accused of then allegedly grabbed the woman’s breasts from behind before fleeing on foot.
Police say Perry appeared in court Thursday and is due to appear again on Sept. 17.
The BC Prosecution Service confirmed Perry is facing once charge of sexual assault, which was sworn on Sept. 11.
A RCMP spokesperson confirmed Perry is the same man who was handed an 18-month conditional sentence in March for dozens of charges related to the phone calls, which dated back to September 2017.
Perry received no jail time for the offences, instead being remanded to his mother’s house in Parksville followed by three years of probation. He was also ordered to undergo counselling and not have any contact with his victims.
Perry was arrested in connection with the calls last May, after police issued a public warning.
He was initially charged with 70 criminal counts, including 31 counts of harassing/indecent phone calls, 18 counts of criminal harassment, 13 counts of uttering threats and eight counts of extortion.
He pleaded guilty to 32 charges in December.
According to the RCMP, Perry made threatening and harassing phone and video calls to women around B.C., focusing particularly on Metro Vancouver.
At times, police said, he accurately identified his victims by name and address or told them he was watching them through cameras hidden in their homes.
Police also said that he demanded the women engage him in sexually explicit conversations. If they refused, he threatened to kill their families, according to police.
While most of Perry’s victims were targeted in their homes, police said several women working at lingerie and swimwear shops were also targeted.
Investigators say it appears he was able to use software to hide his phone number, and that he used social media to gather details on the women he harassed.
At the time of the incident in Qualicum Beach, police said a similar incident happened near the Springwood Park water tower on Despard Avenue in Parksville.
In that instance, a man was also spotted masturbating in the woods by a woman walking the trails nearby. The woman yelled out to the man who fled without touching or interacting with her.
It’s not yet clear if Perry is linked to that incident.
Anyone with information helpful to the investigation is asked to contact Oceanside RCMP or Crime Stoppers.
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