Toronto Police have announced that they have arrested Dipesh Patel, 34, after months of investigating the case of a suspected serial rapist in the Greater Toronto Area.
Patel, who is facing 20 charges related to four different sexual assaults between 2015 and 2019, was arrested in Toronto on November 1 following his last alleged sex crime.
At a press conference earlier today, Supt. Pauline Gray, who is in charge of the Sex Crimes & Homicide units, said the arrest was made possible with the cooperation of the OPP, the Forensic team, and the important role played by the victims.
“Although I am mindful and incredibly proud of the collaboration and tenacity of both teams of investigators who never gave up working on finding the person responsible, I want to speak to the unbelievable commitment on the part of the four survivors who were the victims of these violent crimes,” she said. “It is they who ultimately provided the evidence to catch this man. I am grateful to them for coming forward and trusting us with their stories. Know that you are heroes,” Gray told media.
The last victim gave police the vital piece of information that was needed—Patel’s license plate, which gave police what they needed to make an arrest.
“I can tell you that the reason we are standing here today, the reason he is in custody, is because that survivor had the wherewithal to capture a license plate,” said Supt. Pauline Gray.
The incidents took place in Toronto and Collingwood.
Gray said police announced Patel’s arrest after notifying his alleged victims. She went on to say that she believes Patel was a continued threat to the community, as he was becoming more and more violent with each attack.
“He was learning how to be better at it, how to be elusive,” she said. “There was no doubt in my mind that Mr. Patel would continue to offend.”
Patel has a clean criminal record, and is currently being held in bail court.
The alleged crimes
Patel’s first alleged attack took place in July of 2015 at around 1 a.m. in the Dufferin St. and Rogers Rd. area of Toronto. Patel allegedly approached a 23-year-old woman from behind, was dragged into a laneway “and was sexually assaulted,” police records say. A weapon was allegedly indicated, though not seen.
Patel’s second attack took place on New Years Day on January of 2017 at around 2 a.m. A 17-year-old girl in the Collingwood area was snatched into a vehicle by a man and sexually assaulted, said police. A weapon was again indicated, but not seen. The attack was “notably” more violent, police say.
Patel then allegedly struck again on July 15, 2019 at around 10:30 p.m., when a 28-year-old woman ordered a ride-sharing service at Lakeshore Blvd. near Exhibition Grounds. The woman was duped into thinking she was in her rideshare. Patel then allegedly drove her victim to a parking lot in the Jane St. and Eglington Ave. W. area, sexually assaulting her.
Patel’s last attack allegedly took place on Nov. 1, when a 22-year-old woman was taken from the “Polson St. and Cherry St. area of Toronto to a parking lot and sexually assaulted in a vehicle.”