Halifax Regional Police have charged a 33-year-old man with sexual assault and forcible confinement in relation to an incident that occurred in 2018.
According to police, at approximately 4 p.m. on May 19, officers responded to a report of a sexual assault that had occurred overnight at a location in East Preston.
The female victim was 41 years old at the time of the incident.
Police would not confirm to Global News whether the arrest is related to the reported sexual assault of Carrie Low, who says she was taken in a car, driven to a site outside Halifax and assaulted in May 2018.
However, a statement from the Elizabeth Fry Society, which provides legal representation to Low, noted “there have been some developments in the investigation of Carrie Low’s case.”
Low has spoken publicly about a nightmarish sexual assault she says she experienced in May 2018.
In previous interviews, she has said she blacked out during much of the alleged attack but has had brief and painful recollections of waking to being assaulted.
She has also previously said she believes she was drugged while having a drink at a neighbourhood pub, but according to court documents, evidence to confirm what was in her blood wasn’t immediately sent to a lab for processing.
Low has complained that municipal police badly mishandled her case, saying she was notified that her case wouldn’t be reviewed because it wasn’t made within a six-month time limit.
Working with lawyers from the Elizabeth Fry Society, Low launched a legal battle to have that decision reversed and for her complaint to be processed. Court dates for that have been set for March 3, 2020.
More recently, Low has launched legal action to sue Halifax Regional Police and the RCMP, alleging officers falsely labelled her a liar and an alcoholic while mishandling her sexual assault case.
In a statement of claim submitted to the Nova Scotia Supreme Court, Low claims police failed to visit the scene where the rape is alleged to have happened.
The arrest in the case comes just weeks after the civil suit was filed.
Police are not saying what prompted the arrest nearly two years after the incident.
“Within the investigation, we need to follow it through thoroughly to make sure we have gathered all the information that we need to bring the case forward to the courts,” said Halifax Regional Police spokesperson Const. John MacLeod.
Emma Halpern with the Elizabeth Fry society says that Low believes there were more than one person involved in the assault. Police are not able to confirm if there are any other suspects in the case, only saying that “the investigation is ongoing.”
— With files from the Canadian Press and Global News’ Alicia Draus