A 43-year-old man who was arrested and charged after attempting to kidnap a teenage girl in Montreal on Friday is a convicted serial sexual assaulter in Quebec.
According to the Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions (DPCP), the man, Michel Cox, has a long criminal history and has previously done over 10 years in prison for a series of armed sexual assaults on young girls and women in the Montreal, Laval and Saint-Jérôme areas.
He was released from prison in 2017.
On Saturday, Cox appeared in court and was charged with armed robbery, impersonating a police officer and forcible confinement after Friday’s incident.
On Friday, a teenage victim was walking on Saint-Viateur Street in Montreal’s Outremont area in the early evening when Cox pulled up in a vehicle next to her and told the young girl he was arresting her.
“All of a sudden, a man pulls over and says he’s the police and that I’m a suspect for selling drugs, and that he needed to arrest me,” she told Global News.
She says she stopped, pulled out her headphones, and asked him what he was referring to, but he dismissed her. The victim says the man then handcuffed her and forced her into the backseat of his car and blindfolded her.
His previous crimes were committed between 2002 and 2004. He was convicted of the armed sexual assault of eight victims between the ages of 14 and 25.
Court documents show that psychologists deemed him a dangerous sexual delinquent and presented a high chance of re-offending. He was set to follow psychological treatment upon completing at least half of his 20 year sentence.
The young girl was able to escape Friday’s incident after screaming, fighting him off and opening the backseat door which was unlocked, before tumbling out of the car on to the street.
Since the incident happened during daylight, many witnesses came to help her. One witness was even able to take a photo of the suspect’s licence plate as he sped off. This and a description of the car led police to arrest Cox later that evening after being called to the scene and speaking with the victim and several witnesses.
Police spokesperson Raphaël Bergeron said the suspect appeared in court on Saturday and will remain detained until the next court date on Aug. 20.
Montreal police say this incident is an example as to why it’s important to ask officers for their identification if they look suspicious.
— With files from Global News’ Olivia O’Malley