Sentencing hearing continues for man

The second week of a five-week sentencing hearing for a man who sexually assaulted an elderly woman is taking place at the Red Deer courthouse this week.

Jesse Toews, 26, has been convicted of aggravated sexual assault against a local senior. His sentencing hearing will run from Jan 10-Feb. 17.

The sexual assault Toews was convicted for took place on July 29, 2009 near a north end grocery store at about 10 a.m.

The victim, a woman who was then in her late 70’s, was walking through a wooded area west of the Save On Foods in the 5300 block of 67 St. when a male grabbed her from behind and pulled her to the ground where she was sexually and physically assaulted.

After the attack, the woman was able to make it to the store and was assisted by employees who called the police and EMS.

RCMP later released a photo of Toews to the public asking for assistance in locating him in connection with the alleged crime.

In late August 2009, Toews turned himself into police.

His trial was held in 2011.

A number of people have testified in the case so far including some of Toews family members as well as an ex-girlfriend.

Toew’s ex-girlfriend took the stand last week. She was dating him at the time of the sexual assault he is being sentenced for. She testified they were on and off together for about a year.

The woman described a very volatile relationship with fights fueled by drinking and drugs.

She said Toews trashed her home “from top to bottom” a few months after moving in.

After the incident in July, the woman testified that Toews was “sketchy and paranoid” and didn’t want to run into the RCMP. They would walk in the alleys and away from main streets because Toews didn’t want to see any RCMP members.

She said she didn’t want to believe it when she heard that Toews was the person involved in the sexual assault even after he turned himself in and that they continued to talk on the phone every night even after he was arrested and in jail.

Toews trial continues and is expected to wrap up mid-February.