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Calgary woman testifies in trial of alleged serial rapist Richard Mantha: ‘I lost everything’

Click to play video: '2nd witness takes stand in accused serial sex offender Richard Mantha trial'
2nd witness takes stand in accused serial sex offender Richard Mantha trial
Hard-to-hear testimony was delivered from a second woman that came forward in the case of accused sex offender Richard Mantha. Sarah Offin has more on the court hearing. – Jan 23, 2024

The second woman to testify in the four-week trial of accused serial sex abuser Richard Mantha took the stand on Tuesday, telling the court about her alleged initial meeting with him in August of 2019 — a day she said changed her life.

The woman, who cannot be named, is one of seven women claiming Mantha sexually assaulted them, with six of those accusers claiming he also drugged them.

Tuesday’s witness told the court she contacted police with her story in May of 2023, about a month after she saw news reports that Mantha had been arrested and a rural property east of Calgary became the subject of an extensive police investigation.

“I felt that the women that had come forward so far were all sex traffickers and I wanted the world to know that he was not only a predator to sex traffickers but to normal women as well,” said the woman.

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The alleged victim said Mantha responded to a Kijiji post for a coffee maker she was selling. She said she was selling a number of items in her apartment following a divorce.

She claimed she was intoxicated at the time and welcomed Mantha into her home. After she received money for the coffee maker, she said she offered him a beer and he offered help with selling some of the other items in her home.

Shortly after, she claimed Mantha offered her drugs. “I did a couple of hoots of crack and but then I don’t remember anything for three days.”

She said she woke up naked on the bathroom floor, bleeding from her vagina. “In between my knees there was needle marks with bruising and in between my toes as well.”

“My dad had come to see what was wrong because he hadn’t heard from me for three days. He had a ladder and came in through my bedroom window and Richard was there and stopped him from coming in,” she testified.

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“After that Richard said that my dad was probably going to call the cops and I needed to tell the cops that me and him were in a relationship — otherwise he would find my parents and my kids and kill them.”

The woman said police arrived about fifteen minutes later and that Mantha opened the door because she was scared, later standing behind it while she was questioned by police and allegedly holding his finger over his lips, directing her to keep quiet.

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“I told them I was in a relationship with Richard Mantha and that I had decided to use drugs,” she testified. “I was scared that he was going to kill my parents and my kids. So I just went with the lie that he had told me to tell.”

It was a lie the witness said she continued to tell over about the next two months, as Mantha allegedly supplied her with meth. The sexual assaults and threats of violence allegedly continued.

“I was severely addicted to drugs at that point,” she said. “I was throwing up. I felt like I had no options at that point.”

She claimed Mantha had repeatedly told her she was a member of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club and that he would would have someone kill her parents and kids.

“I just remember flashes from that point on. There were flashes of him taking me to a trailer that he had parked by a truck stop – in a field nearby,” she said.

“I remember him choking me several times, using derogatory names,” the woman said. “He was also videotaping us having sex and he was also very adamant that he wanted me to start prostituting myself out to make money.”

She also claimed that Mantha had an “obsession” with making large vibrators which he had around his trailer.

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“It almost looked like a flashlight, like the base part of a flashlight, and the top part being wrapped by duct tape and he had put some kind of a vibrating mechanism in it that was very powerful,” she described. She said he used them on her a few times and none of their sexual encounters were consensual.

She testified that she lost custody of her children around the end of October after a failed drug test. “I was asked to provide a drug test in order to go trick-or-treating with them,” she said.

“I lost my kids. I was homeless at one point. I lost everything. It was very much a life-changing event.”

She testified that that was around the time the tenant in the basement of her home ‘noticed something wasn’t right’ and intervened.

“I said I had been using meth with him and I need him away from me,” she said.

The next time Mantha returned, the witness said the downstairs tenant wouldn’t let him in the home and told him to leave.

“I phoned the police and they told me, that given his previous record, that it would be best not to file a restraining order against him because it would make him more upset and more likely to hurt me,” she said. “They suggested they would call him and tell him to leave me a alone.”

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She claimed Mantha continued to stalk her until as late as December, allegedly sending emails and shining the high-beams of his vehicle into her window in the early morning hours.

She claimed she had been sober for about nine months when she saw the news reports detailing Mantha’s arrest and that she “spiraled” and had to go back into detox. She said she made the report to police while she was in recovery.

The defence continued with cross-examination Tuesday afternoon, questioning the alleged victim on how she knew Mantha before he came to her home. The defence suggested they had met on a dating app rather than on Kijiji.

The complainant was also questioned as to why she allegedly let Mantha have a shower in her apartment before he gave her drugs.  “I was stupid. I was naive,” she answered.

“I would let anybody into my home,” she said, suggesting she had been drunk and influenced by her rural upbringing.

The French-language trial is scheduled to last for four weeks.

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