Calgary teacher accused in connection with ‘serial’ robberies and sexual assaults

Click to play video: 'Calgary man facing charges in connection to robberies and sexual assaults'
Calgary man facing charges in connection to robberies and sexual assaults
WATCH: A Calgary man is facing more than a dozen charges after a series of robberies and sexual assaults targetting personal care businesses. Ina Sidhu reports. – Mar 24, 2022

Editor’s note: Calgary police originally stated the accused’s name as Andrew Frank Sorenson but later issued a correction to say it’s actually Andrew Frank Sorensen.

A Calgary teacher has been arrested in relation to a series of robberies and sexual assaults in personal care businesses throughout the city.

Andrew Frank Sorensen, 36, faces more than a dozen charges:

  • Four counts of sexual assault with a weapon
  • Four counts of armed robbery
  • Four counts of disguise with intent
  • One count of uttering threats

On Thursday evening, the Calgary Catholic School District confirmed it had been informed by the Calgary Police Service that a two-year staff member at St. Isidore School, an online grade 1 – 9 school, had been charged.

“None of the charges involve our students. The staff member has been suspended from work,” the statement read. “As this is a criminal matter presently before the courts, we cannot provide any additional details concerning this matter.”

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On Friday morning, the Alberta Teachers’ Association confirmed a “request for investigation” had come to them about Sorensen on March 23.

“The association is obligated to investigate every complaint it receives,” the statement from an ATA spokesperson read. “In cases where there are criminal charges or an active police investigation, the association places its investigation in abeyance until the criminal matters have concluded.

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“Any teacher who has been found guilty of an indictable offence will automatically be found guilty of unprofessional conduct by the association’s discipline process.”

Following two separate calls on Jan. 30, an investigation led to police discovering an “active serial suspect” targeting personal care businesses.

Det. Timothy Fitzgibbon said it’s very rare for Calgary to see a string of incidents like these.

“There was a specific targeting of a certain type of business, a certain type of victim and victimology, and so we don’t see that with any frequency in our community,” Fitzgibbon said.

The detective cited historical examples like the Beltline rapist of the mid-2000s or Hemlock Crescent rapist of the late 1980s and early 1990s.

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“They’re very infrequent – this type of case – however, it’s extremely dangerous to the people who are being victimized.”

After a six-week investigation, officers had enough evidence to identify the suspect and executed a warrant in the community of Cranston.

Click to play video: 'Calgary police release images of suspect in several robberies, sexual assaults'
Calgary police release images of suspect in several robberies, sexual assaults

Fitzgibbon recognized it can be difficult for sexual assault victims to come forward.

“We are aware of a total of 10 events involving incidents of an armed robbery and sexual assault and encourage anyone who is a victim of this type of crime to contact police so that we can investigate.”

He added that the CPS has worked with the affected businesses to help them recover from the attacks, “just to ensure that there is an understanding within their community that contacting the police is a safe thing to do, that we’re there to assist them.”

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Sorensen is due to appear in court on March 29.

Anyone with more information about these incidents is encouraged to call the CPS non-emergency line at 403-266-1234 or to contact Crime Stoppers.

–with files from Radana Williams, Global News

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