March 27, 2015 2:00 pm
Updated: March 28, 2015 1:51 am

UPDATE: East Vancouver sexual assault suspect facing 7 charges

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WATCH: A 25-year-old man is facing several charges in connection with an East Vancouver sex assault. Rumina Daya has the latest on the suspect and the community efforts to help the victim.

The male suspect involved in a sexual assault in Strathcona Thursday afternoon made his first court appearance today.

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25-year-old Caleb Timothy Heaten, who has a criminal record in Ontario, is facing seven charges — break and enter, robbery, aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault using a knife, sexual assault using a rock, choking and unlawful confinement.

The attack has left the female victim in the hospital with serious injuries following a terrifying sexual assault in her apartment in East Vancouver this afternoon.

Police said the woman was home alone in her apartment in East Vancouver when a man allegedly armed with weapons broke in and confronted her. The suspect, who did not know the victim, attacked her, tied her up and sexually assaulted her, according to Vancouver police.

A witness heard her screams and went into the Strathcona apartment where a struggle happened and the victim was able to escape. The Good Samaritan was able to hold the suspect until police arrived and took him into custody.

“I punched the [suspect] in the back of the head multiple times,” the Good Samaritan said.

“And then pulled him off of her and that’s when the altercation was carried outside and the other neighbours helped keep him there until police came.”

VPD Cst. Brian Montague said the attack is random and the suspect appears to be new to the area. Due to a court ordered publication ban, police will not be releasing any additional information.

The victim was taken to the hospital with serious injuries.

A GoFundMe account has been started for the Strathcona victim’s recovery, raising over $16,000 in just over a day.

A solidarity walk took place in the neighbourhood Friday night.

WATCH: Rally for victim of vicious sex assault

“Money doesn’t fix things, but it can help,” says Shelley Sullivan, who organized the fundraiser. She lives in the neighbourhood, but didn’t know the victim personally.

“I felt compelled to do something.”

Heaten is in the process of retaining legal counsel. His next court appearance is scheduled for April 2.

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